|A fascinating African Film Breakfast|
|Written by Roland Williams|
|Tuesday, 05 April 2011 17:50|
Roland Williams recently visited the 2011 CinemAfrica Film festival film Breakfast in Stockholm. Here you can read his review.
I really enjoyed the Film breakfast at the CinemAfrica film festival. I regularly attend events like these, and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many there. The program and printed materials set the tone for the festival; my expectations were high on arrival, and they were met and exceeded with quality films, great dialogue, and an ideal theater - Bio Rio at Hornstull in Stockholm. Luckily, an old friend I had not seen in ages motioned for me to join him and his wife, so I actually had the best seat in the house.
Difficult LoveZanele Muholi takes the viewer on a documentary-style journey into the turmoil surrounding several lesbians from South Africa, herself included. She shares her own personal experience as a woman pure and simple, using the lens of her camera in a remarkable way and guiding the viewer through life, liberty -- or the lack thereof -- and the pursuit of happiness.
Difficult Love is not only the title of the film; it is also the focal point of her quest to teach others how to use a camera to capture their story. She meets a variety of her students and friends in the film: a couple living under a bridge because they were evicted from a shelter for women because they lesbians; a lesbian woman in her late-thirties, scrutinized for choosing artificial insemination over the natural method involving heterosexuality; a woman awaiting a court ruling after she was brutally battered and raped by a man for being lesbian.
Muholi shares Difficult Love with the viewer with a rich tapestry of photography, people and places in Africa. The only downfall of the film is that it has not played in every theater, the world over.
After the film it was wonderful to meet Zanele Muholi and hear more about her film Difficult Love in such an intimate setting.
The Place In BetweenSarah Bouyain makes her directorial debut with The Place In Between, a film which unravels the tale of a young French woman struggling to find her biological African mother. The two cultures collide when the lead character Amy, or Aminata, arrives to her hometown of Burkina Faso, a place filled with sporadic memories from her childhood and the large, gaping void of questions unanswered by everyone around her about her mother.
Bouyain's masterful use of light and sound bring the viewer to a vibrant Africa.
She fills the film with a plethora of small details around the her incredible cast: red ants crawling onto Aminata's feet; millet cakes purchased by her aunt to celebrate her return; the circular motion of her mother's hands as she cleans an office window at work. Bouyain also uses Dioula and French as textures, adding poignancy to Aminata's frustrations and her biological mother's inability to face her daughter.
The Place In Between is powerful and well done with all of the components that make a good film great.
Africa was truly top-of-mind and both films, Difficult Love and The Place in Between, epitomized the talent and cinematic excellence the world will soon enjoy.