-- PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI ,
Powerful, insightful and riveting documentary capturing a historical moment for Charleston, Mississippi and its high school -- in 2008, the first ever integrated senior prom. Actor Morgan Freeman paid for all expenses on the condition that there would no longer be separate proms.
DE SABLE, FEMMES DE ROC (SANDSTORMS, WOMEN OF ROCK),
Each summer the Toubou
tribal women trek from the extreme southern Sahara 1500
kilometres north to Bilma in order to harvest and sell dates
which will provide income for the rest of the year. This
film documents one such annual trek. Dramatic effect weakened
by use of voice-overs rather than subtitles.
-- NUMBER ONE ,
In 2004, Morocco passed sweeping changes in its family laws
guaranteeing the rights of women and children (Moudawana).
This comedy-drama deals with their effects. Aziz is a manager
in a textile plant in Morocco. Refusing to modify his behaviour,
he continues to treat his staff, his wife (Soraya) and his
daughter with typical Moroccan macho male behaviour. One
day Soraya employs a little magic and Aziz becomes super-feminist.
He is no longer able to yell at the women around him and
on one occasion he cooks dinner for his family. Through
humour, at times bordering on the absurd, attempts to show
that being ‘number one’ is not always fulfilling. Due to
poor delivery in both the script and in the performances,
the director does not always succeed in getting this point
2.0 LE TEMPS DES CAMARADES (TIME OF COMRADES)
Mohamed Chrif Tribak
Drama that combines romance with politics. Set in Northern
Morocco in the 1990s, Rahil, despite her parents’ objections,
goes to university. There she meets Sa‘id, who is involved
with a unionist movement. Film suffers from poor subtitles,
unfocused plot and lackluster performances.
-- AHMED GASSIAUX,
Biopic based on the memoires of Ahmed Guessous, who was orphaned during the Taza war of 1924 and subsequently adopted and educated by a prominent French family. The script and editing was choppy and the music, despite its lilting beauty, did not match the emotional intent of the images.
SCULPTURE PEUT-ELLE SAUVER LE VILLAGE DE NOAILLES (THE SCULPTURE
CAN IT SAVE THE VILLAGE OF NOAILLES),
A 36 min. film that looks at a creative group of artists from the Haitian village of Noailles.
(Creole for star) This 52 min. film gives us a profile of
Robert St. Rose who believed that the poetry of Aimé
Césaire (1913-2008) could provide fuel to send a
rocket to the moon. He wanted to be the first man in space
from the Antilles.
NDOMO, LES 5 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN,
Isabelle Garceau, Érica
Ndomo is a traditional Malian rite of passage whereby a
child becomes an adult and takes his/her place in society.
This 52 min. film follows five such children: one Québécoise
and four Malian.
Marlène Rabaud, Arnaud Zajtman
A 59 min. film that looks at the on-going injustice in the
Congo and the rampant corruption among politicians. The
content is somewhat unfocused yet thought provoking.
CENTRE DE LA TERRE, DES PUITS ET DES HOMMES (AT THE CENTER
OF THE EARTH, WELLS AND MEN),
A 23 min. documentary expounding on the traditions of Niger’s
well-diggers, passed down from generation to generation.
MORT DE LA GAZELLE (DEATH OF THE GAZELLE),
For 45 min. we watch a guerilla group of armed men of Niger’s
Movement for Justice encamped in the north awaiting its
Dramatization of Martinican journalist André Aliker, who
in July 1933 was asked to take over the left-wing paper
“Justice.” In his quest to fight scandal and corruption,
he uncovers a major fraud perpetrated by a prominent businessman.
By publishing articles in the paper, he puts both himself
and his family in danger. Film is a revelation of a little
known event in Martinique’s history.
Harraga is an Arabic term that means ‘to burn ones bridges.’
It is used to refer to North African migrants attempting
illegal entry into Europe, usually by crossing the Mediterranean
on make-shift boats. Ten Harragas set off from Algeria to
find their European El Dorado. Difficult to read subtitles
make it difficult to keep up with the dialogue and voice-over
narration. Despite uneven script and under developed characters,
the images of the boat with its ten occupants in the middle
of a vast, though calm, sea – with no land in sight – are
stunning; and the emotional impact of literally ‘burning
one's bridges’ hits the viewer with full force.
-- MANUSCRIPTS FROM
A brilliantly constructed and informative film expounding
on the discovery of manuscripts from the 13th to 15th centuries
in Timbuktu (in northern Mali), arguing that the continent
of Africa had a far more advanced civilization than Europe
at the same time.
A powerful, hard hitting drama based on J.M. Coetzee's prize
winning novel of the same title that is anchored in post-Apartheid
South Africa. With cold precision, the film explores the
consequences of reopening old wounds. John Malkovich gives
his usual magnetically intense performance as Cape Town
University, romantic poetry professor, David Lurie. After
a scandalous relationship in which he seduces a student,
he is forced to resign his post and goes to stay with his
daughter Lucy, who lives on a remote isolated farm. A brutal
attack on Lucy and himself by three young blacks causes
David to reassess and question his attitudes towards who
is victim/oppressed versus victimizer/oppressor. As he tries
to cope with this new reality he unravels at the seams.
-- LES AMANTS DE L'OMBRE
(THE LOVERS OF THE SHADOW),
Set in France on the eve of its liberation, this WWII drama
explores the issue of forbidden love. Louise, a young nurse
whose husband is being held prisoner in Germany, falls in
love with Gary -- an African-American GI. Blanche, her sister-in-law,
has an affair with a German. The potentially interesting
subject is poorly served to the effect the film compares
with your average TV movie of the week.
-- BEHIND THE
This documentary is a political essay chronicling the transition of the African National Congress (ANC) from liberation movement to ruling political party in South Africa (SA). Film mainly follows the paths of two of its leaders, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, who became brothers in arms while in exile. While Mbeki was president of SA (succeeding
Mandela) they became rivals and are now threatening to split both the party and the country. Film exposes the fairytale nature of post apartheid SA and the explosive nature of the country today.
Director's first feature film set in Mitchell's Plain, a
Cape Town ghetto, Shirley, abandoned by her husband, has
left her job to take care of quadriplegic, suicidal son
Donovan, paralyzed from the waist down from a stray bullet.
Hand held camera lends documentary aura to film, which is
dark, moody, slow-moving and too predictable.