Public Program:
17th Annual New York African Film Festival at the New Museum: Digitally Speaking
May 15 2010
The New Museum is excited to continue its partnership with African Film Festival, Inc. by participating in the 17th Annual New York African Film Festival. This co-presentation includes three days of film screenings, which celebrate the technical innovation that is contributing to a new level of independence in African cinema. Each film in the series not only reveals the experimental and creative elements of contemporary African cinema, but also pays special attention to the distinct aesthetics of the African camera.

You Chuse, Dir. Anita Khanna and Rehad Desai, South Africa, 2008, 50 min
You Chuse is a documentary on the role of new media democracy movements in Africa. Using innovative remixing and reworking of various media sources, the film looks at wide-ranging initiatives from the open-source software movement and the use of such technology in the fight against AIDS in Malawi, to organizations like the Creative Commons and the attempt to bring a nuanced argument to debates around piracy and intellectual property. The documentary is an exploration of the problems and solutions to the ever-broadening digital divide between rich and poor nations in the information age.

Bon Voyage Sim, Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 1966, 5 min
This 1966 animation presents a charming narrative of politician frog Sim, president of “toad republic” and the wonders of traveling to countries during his presidential trip.

Adieu Sim, Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 2001, 5 min
Revisiting his film from the mid-1960s, Moustapha Alassane is able to employ a new cinematic technique and develop an alternate ending to what was censored during the colonial period.

The Toad Who Visits His In-Laws/Le Crapoud Chez Ses Beaux-Parents, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1990, 8 min
Rooted in the oral tale recounted by the Tetela in Sankuru, Democratic Republic of Congo, this story explains how it came to be that the fox ate the chicken, the chicken ate the termite, the termite ate the stick, and the stick ate the toad.

Black September in Kinshasa/Kinshasa, Septembre Noir, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1991, 7 min
An animated documentary about children’s drawings of the military pillaging that hit their community in September 1991, this short uses limited animated techniques interspersing the children’s drawings with drawings from Kibushi himself.

Prince Losena/L’Heritier, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004, 30 min
Seeking to fulfill his role as leader, King Ngolo is troubled by the infertility of his three wives. This story follows his search for a solution to the problem.

The Colonial Friend/L’Ami Ya Bon, Algeria/France, 2004, 9 min
In 1940, France went to war against Germany and announced not only the mobilization of its territory, but also of its colonies. Senegalese family man Aby enlists in the army, distinguishes himself in battle, and is captured. But when he returns to his country, the French army refuses to pay him for his services. This beautifully animated film records the 1944 incident in which Senegalese veterans were gunned down after demanding payment for their military service.

Courtesy the Artist and New Museum