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Samba Gadijigo’s and Jason Silverman’s Sembene! is a rare documentary on the life of one of Africa’s most renowned and important filmmakers, Ousmane Sembene. Ousmane Sembene was Senegalese and the first man arguably who brought some of the most significant issues of Africa’s postcolonial predicaments to the attention of the world, and was regarded (much to his disapproval) as the father of African cinema. The story opens with Samba Gadjigo finding his way to the home of the late ace filmmaker. The frames carry our gaze with his movement around the neighbour into Sembene compound and then finally into his house. In the house were materials, books, film materials and tools that had suffered much neglect for quite a long time. The house, according to the visual interpretation and with the aid of the narrative voice of the director, had been abandoned for a long-time since the death of Ousmane Sembene himself. We are taken through the way the narrator decided to save those materials and preserve them as best as he could. The narrator provided us pictures that told stories about Sembene’s rise as well as those influential perspectives that shaped his forte as a filmmaker and the people whom he made friends with in his lifetime. Some of them ranging from artists like Danny Glover to filmmakers like Gordon Parks, Spike Lee and lovers of the art like Henry Louis Gates. Photographs of the young Sembene, much older Sembene and extremely old Sembene permeated the documentary and also contributed to, the handling of the whole artistic framework of the documentary. The interviews with people who were close to him during his life time such as his son Allain Sembene, his house keeper, Nafi Ndoye, and popular Senegalese novelist Boubarchar Boris Diop, were veritable vectors that contributed to story. Other instances follow with some visual recordings of Ousmane Sembene at work making his films and also instructing people on how to make films. These interviews are juxtaposed with clips from films such as Borrom Sarret, Ceddo Black Girl, Xala, Emitai and of course one of his most controversial works, Campe de Thioraye. The narrator simultaneously shows interviews about Sembene’s view of Africa with both white and black journalists in relation to his beliefs and the films that he had made.  Even though his films were a reflection of his society and Africa at large, his personal thoughts shaped the context of his films in such a way that he was able to deconstruct familiar traditions that did not help Africa grow but to remain moribund without transformative change. Clips of his works as shown in the documentary evinced that they were actually subversive films, that part of the documentary only tells us essentially what the power of the frames was destined for during the rise and development, of Sembene in a continent that had nothing but its courage and dignity. There were other areas in the film where other issues of his life are relayed, such as the situation surrounding his divorce with his wife Carrie, how it devastated him and his refusal to get married again. Another reflection has to do with his idiosyncratic nature during his filming and when his moments of relaxation, recess and leisure time with, his son, friends and accomplices. The documentary reads more like a biography of Sembene, and an autobiographical account of Samba Gadjigo on his relationship with Ousmane Semebene. In fact, what makes the documentary more exciting is the fact that the filmmaker gives us enough details and indications to believe that he was the closest to Sembene. The fact that Sembene personally made him have access to his house when and whenever he chooses to visit was a clear indication of the close relationship that exist between the two. More significantly, their various sojourn together all over the world  giving talks about his works and maintaining consistent appearances at international festivals and conferences, exhibition and so on. The reality of the work is inspiringly sublime. The work has a powerful undertone that makes you feel Ousmane Sembene still remains alive, living in the castle of the skin of those who admired him, and the alacrity he exhumes when it comes to discussing about Africa, his homeland in Senegal, his beloved people and his job. Visual representation of his silent moments, the way a walks the streets of France, London, and Burkina Faso, his debonair camp and humility when he is given a standing ovation, his familiar  and yet imposing frame, as well as his funny and yet particular way of smoking his pipe. All these specificities only tell us that Ousmane Sembene was a phenomenal personality who will always be remembered for the many cinematic conventions and inventions that he popularised in Africa. The original scores by Ken Myr and Chris Jonas were well perfected for the film and the most profound was the closing version which fitted the story of the subject, such that one wonders whether a president had died. The film will for long be important for studies in African documentaries and the “cine essays”, which was popularised here in African film criticism by foremost historian and cinema scholar of long standing Prof Manthia Diawara. And one thing this film will do is that it will serve as an important work for new readers, students and general readers of Ousmane Sembene’s films. Therefore, even if no one had ever read about Sembene, the documentary will serve as an introductory encounter. It is more than a tribute to the ace, and late cinematographer. Tunde Onikoyi, IREP Media Team
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This documentary, which was shot in Zurich, Lome, Benin and Berlin, is a real provocateur of change, which is our theme for this year’s festival. #CHANGE. It raised a lot of important questions. Do Africans have to travel all the way to Europe to learn about our cultural heritage? Big question.  Europe has a rich collection of almost all the original African art. The people long for the extinct culture of African art, making African art very desired by people and art in Africa then subject to theft. In this documentary Peter Heller showed us how art from Nigeria, Lome, Benin amongst other African countries are extracted and taken to museums in Europe. Different art collectors were interviewed. There’s nothing left in Africa, the good ones are already in Europe, these art collectors collect pieces of art and estimate the value, some can also tell the authentic ones from ones that are not. Europeans are very much more interested in our own art than we are, the documentarian used pictures, clips of interviews and videos to look at this more closely. Nearly one million Africans live off carving masks. Long ago, Africans sold their art for less than a pack of cigarette. These http://www.buydiazepamtop.com artifacts are taken back to Europe and America to people who greatly appreciate their value. Traditional African art in berlin, the original throne of a great Cameroon king is in a museum in Zurich, generations after his successors have to settle for the replica of the throne. Why? It can be argued that these collectors are taking the African art to Europe to protect them from the harsh weather and decay. In Africa, we are forbidden to see these masks we are afraid of them hence we do not know the value.  Are the collectors wrong for taking these artifacts to a place where they would be appreciated? Are they stealing from us or helping us preserve our history? I asked the documentarian, after all said and done, what is the change that you expected to inspire when you were making this documentary? He said we should its about local valuing of culture, and this film allowed for some enlightenment on that. I believe it was not easy for Peter Heller to put this documentary together, he must have stepped on some toes exposing art theft and illegal transportation of art.   Tasha Sarumi IREP Media Team
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From the perspective of the documentary filmmaker who had a personal relationship with Bi Kidude, is a beautiful tale of a woman who was the oldest singer alive in some part of Zanzibar. On April 17, 2013 while he was still emotionally distraught about the death of his mother, Andy Jones received the devastating news that his long-time friend and music icon Bi Kidude has passed on. Twenty-four hours later he was in Zanzibar, the home country of the Legendary Bi Kidude. This documentary was shot in Zanzibar, showing Bi Kidude when she was about a 100years old and still touring the country and the world, performing her music internationally. Bi Kidude was a rebel-rocking chain smoker whose sense of humour was vibrant and carried that spirit throughout into her old age. Andy and Bi Kidude travelled the world together forming a strong bond and friendship. Bi Kidude was known as the ‘Queen of Zanzibar’, the ‘Queen of Africa’. A huge annual music festival called ‘Busara’, in Zanzibar, was never complete without Bi Kidude’s performance. Bi Kidude in her older age became very sick but then was shockingly kidnapped. A mystery: who would kidnap an old woman who was loved by all? I-Shot-Bi-Kidude Andy went around searching for answers. It is later revealed that she was abducted by Baraka; a distant relative of hers. He felt that all the people around her were taking http://laparkan.com/buy-accutane/ advantage of her and she was not being properly cared for. In the documentary he relayed his anger towards Omari, a young man, who worked with Kidude of whom he accused of stealing from her. He also accused the management of Busara and a couple of others for defrauding the old woman. In his, defence he claimed he was keeping her for her own good, so she can have a ‘peaceful’ life till she dies. It was not clear if Baraka had good or bad intentions. Baraka gave an interview that leaves the audience with a lot of questions, causing the management of Baraka to decide not to handle her money anymore. Andy Jones found Baraka and, was able to convince him to let Bi out of the house, because keeping her locked in and away from her friends and her music, was killing her rather quickly than keeping her alive. Baraka agreed after persuasion to let Kidude to go back to singing. The documentary reads like a biography about the last 10years of Bi Kidude’s life. Taking her away from music was like taking life from her. What comes to mind is the fact of reality that, Andy Jones was inspired by Bi Kidude’s life. Andy Jones carried a very inspired theme throughout with his documentary which is: “DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE AND DON’T STOP”. Tasha Sarumi IREP Media Team
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This story highlights the journey of 7 successful women: Odunayo Adeoye a Nigerian Fashion Designer, Ajara Bomah a CEO from Sierra Leone, Mariama Jalloh a Sierra Leonean top Manager at KPMG, Issa Rae a Producer and Writer, Yeniva Sisay-Sogbeh, Nadia Sasso and Sarah Jabia) as they explore their “identity”. The multimedia composition is explored through a discussion format focusing on identity and the struggle of being of continental African heritage but raised in America.  The documentary opens with Nadia Sasso speaking with her mother over the phone on her way from the United States to Sierra Leone. She introduces us to the 6 other African American ladies speaking of their experiences and identity of being African in America along with the struggles being American in Africa. The documentary takes us through the cultural challenges of these young ladies as it highlights the issues such as different ideals of beauty, finding your community, alienation, language, and finally the displacement that migrants experience in American societies. The music scores from Nigerian artists like Brymo and Timaya took us through the different motions excellently. This documentary has allowed for people have a platform voice given their complicated relationship with understandings of race, complexion, gender, heritage, hair texture, intonations and so many other issues. Agreeably, the quality of life in America has incomparable advantages. However, the quality of happiness for Africans cannot be measured. Africa is great beyond its own visions. Nevertheless, in order to see its greatness, the onus lies in the hands of the African people within the African diaspora to view Africa as their home for its growth or work internationally to be a part of the change. As Africa is set to enter its next stage we must break the barriers among its own people to build a continent of which we continue to discover its potential. Bayo Fagbamila and Imoh Eboh IREP Media Team
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Tunde Kelani has always made every matter count in his cinematic oeuvre, from the largest to the smallest detail. In all, every issue is laid bare for the audience to deal with. The fact is that the ace auteur of Nigerian cinema has always marked himself out to be as exceptional, surrounding himself with the most committed of people in order to have a perfect issue treated, in the perfect of ways.  Pyrolysis and Paralysis is a rare piece of documentary that possesses that brilliant ingenuity. The subject matter centres on the indiscriminate cutting down of tress for commercial use in various places where the trees do not only beautify the ambience, but also perform other functions. Tunde Kelani illustrates in his visual that when these trees are cut the material woods are actually used properly but, the land becomes an abandoned portion of a neglected arena. We see in the visual content how those who benefit from these trees actually preserve and transform the woods, and particularly creating charcoals out of them which is usually further used to produce fire at other places for various needs and purposes. The quintessential Tunde Kelani who is always passionate about change, and using cinema as asocial art, Kelani draws on composite media to illustrate this narrative of reality in a systematic and creative way. He provided pictures of these careless acts taking place as if they were done in real time. We feel the force of moving still pictures, and the diegetics of those events as if they were originally happening.  Various sounds coming from people talking, laughing, cutting down trees, and sounds of the machines used, the engine of a lorry which is used to take away loads of charcoal away to the neighbouring villages and also the cities. Another aspect that was observed was the deliberate use of poetic rendition of a European narrator. What strikes one about this is the fact that Kelani uses poetic language to describe the state of the prevailing action that we see through still pictures. The language is one steeped in sadness, pithy and retrospection and this invariably initiates rhetorical questions about what happens to the land, and how does it mature again after this destruction. Another question the documentary raised is the question of the threat to the lives of the tree, and why it must http://www.honeytraveler.com/buy-champix/ continue. Only a few years ago the former governor of Lagos State Tunde Fashola, initiated a programme which was meant to instigate people of Nigeria to see our trees as an important aspect in environmental protection and a way to protect trees. That programme saw to the mass planting of trees in Lagos, and this was to educate other states in the country to understand why the need to protect these trees should be of immense priority to everyone. But from the documentary, it is quite obvious that the project’s initiative and objective was a temporal one. Kelani’s use of soft music to accentuate the still photography and movements was well done in order to give that sombre mood and reflection in just a space of 3 minutes. The subversive arrangements of events of the people at work only show how Tunde Kelani has used the power of documentary filmmaking, to tell a story that should matter to all and sundry. And also, the length of the documentary also speaks volumes. This is in response to those who think making documentary is always an expensive venture because, the documentary filmmakr has the technology at his or her call and beckon, and the rigours of trying to raise funds should not matter at all. The point is Nigerians can make documentaries without bordering about having so much money that might not come at all. Although, if one is able to have huge funding, one can keep the money and think of some other kind of documentary that he or she wishes to do in the future. Tunde Kelani’s commitment to the African course has always been an important aspect of his films and, the thought of changing society or effecting change is of immense priority. The great auteur does not give answers to the questions that we ask about the conditions of  “Trees” or how best will the next government in power intervene in the situation, but he leaves it open for us to judge for ourselves and perhaps, provide measures to avoid the acts of cutting down trees. This kind of strategy permeates every single thing that Kelani has touched. Tunde Onikoyi iREP Media Team
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