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BAMPFA’s African Film Festival and Documentary Voices

Beginning this Saturday, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) will be presenting their annual African Film Festival, presenting films from the world cinema of the African diaspora. This film series will present works from directors including Andrew Dosunmu, Alain Gomis, David Tosh Gitongo, and Lonesome Solo.

The series begin with the movie Mother of George (2012), an American film about a couple living in a Nigerian community in Brooklyn having marital problems. The international flair truly starts on January 28th with the pseudo documentary Le Président (Cameroon/Germany, 2013). Other films hailing from Africa includes the streetwise Burn It Up Djassa (Ivory Coast, 2012), Tey (Senegal, 2012), which features musician/slam poet Saul Williams, and Nairobi Half Life (2012), Kenya’s first-ever Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language film. The series also features film from other parts of the world including France, which hails the 2012 animated film Zarafa.

On Tuesday January 28th, BAMPFA will present the film series Documentary Voices. It is a showcase of contemporary and historical documentaries, ranging from poetic explorations to cinematic essays, to even archival collections. It is presented in conjunction with UC Berkeley course History of Documentary film, which is taught by professor Linda Williams.

The two films in this series are The Specialist (1999), a film entirely composed of archival footage from the 1961 Israeli trial of Nazi Ss Lieutenant colonel Adolf Eichmann, and May They Rest in Revolt (2010), a documentary on undocumented immigrants from Northern Africa and the Middle East, living in makeshift homes in the French town of Calais. Also included in this film series is a Committed Cinema (which begins in mid-February) tribute to documentarian and activist Tony Buba, and two films from the African Film Festival (Le Président and Fidaï) coinciding with this series.

The African Film Festival runs until February 26th, while Documentary Voices runs until April 22nd. Log on to bampfa.berkeley.edu for more information.