The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
THE AFRICAN TRAVELING FILM FESTIVAL
Weekends, March 24-May 6
The Facets Cinémathèque is very proud to present the annual African Traveling Film Festival Series which is designed to bring the unique experience of watching African cinema to the broadest possible audience. In the 1950s and '60s, African filmmakers began to create images of post-colonial Africa with nuanced understanding of Africa's cultural diversity. Over the last half a century, African cinema has become a unique blend of aesthetic experimentation, history, and politics. As African nations have constructed modern identities from traditional and colonial experiences, the role of visual culture in communicating these new transitional identities is relevant for audiences around the world. The Traveling Series provides access to a neglected part of international film culture and supports African films often overlooked by distributors but which are deserving of larger audiences.
A young woman, Rallia, raised in Switzerland, travels to an isolated and barren Berber settlement located in the rocky Atlas Mountains of Algeria. Rallia's journey is one of multi-tiered discovery in terms of her relationship to her extended family, traditional Berber culture, and her desperate need to locate her biological mother. Through her eyes, the viewer is immersed in a world virtually untouched by contemporary society, one that still clings to tribal mores and strict religious codes of conduct. Mehdi Charef skillfully captures the windswept vistas of a faraway mountain range with wide camera angles that frame the harsh environs and the desperate daily search for water, the responsibility of the resilient women of the Berber tribe.
Directed by Mehdi Charef, Algeria, 2001, 35mm, 106 mins. In Arabic with English subtitles.
"A cleverly juggled mixture of comedy and seriousness" -BBC
This film is the story of Dumisani's epic journey to find his 51 siblings and come to terms with the loss of his father as a child. Critics have compared this film to jazz music-with bursts of joy and pain that allow the viewer to feel the family's triumph over loss and longing.
Directed by Dumisani Phakathi, South Africa, 2004, BetaSP, 86 mins. In English & Zulu with English subtitles.
"A raw fable that powerfully represents the tragedy of countless civil conflicts" -New York Times
"Night. is urgently concerned with the constant vigilance necessary to check man's bestiality. " -Time Out London
Recommended! "Riveting" -Chicago Reader
Mirroring the political strife and genocide in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, this film opens as preparations are being made to end a decade of civil war in a fictitious country. A peace agreement is about to be signed and celebrated in a night of reconciliation with a "laying down of arms". As the powerful drumming begins, both rebels and government forces gather, bringing with them years of rage, grief, hope, suspicion, and bitterness. In this first feature film, Fanta Régina Nacro boldly presents the sometimes unintentional but inhuman behavior inherent in all people.
Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Burkina Faso, 2004, 35mm, 100 mins. In Dioula, French, & more with English subtitles.
Dakar, Senegal. Ousmane, a 7 years old child who begs in the streets, decides to write a letter to Santa Claus. Directed by Dyana Gaye, Senegal/France, 2006, BetaSP, 15 mins. In Wolof & French with English subtitles.
Principle Prize Oberhausen Intl Short Film Fest
You, Waguih is the story of a relationship between a screenwriter's son and his father, told through the silence of the father's feelings about his political life. Directed by Namir Abdel Messeeh, Egypt/France, 2005, BetaSP, 28 mins. In French & Arabic with English subtitles. Grand Prize winner at Rencontres du Moyen Metrage de Brive Festival.
MY LOST HOME
(MA MAISON PERDUE)
Kamal El-Mahouti arrived in France in 1970, when he was six years old, and lived in a housing project for the next twenty years. The filmmaker recounts his childhood memories in the wake of the destruction of the housing project, exploring the complexly intertwined history of France and Morocco through the eyes of Moroccan immigrants living in France. Directed by Kamal El-Mahouti, Morocco/France, 2001, BetaSP, 19 mins. In French & Arabic with English subtitles.
WHOLE: A TRINITY OF BEING
Three experimental shorts which deal with sexuality, visibility, and voice from the perspective of a wheelchair user who turns the camera on herself to celebrate love and survival. Directed by Shelley Barry, South Africa, 2004, BetaSP, 16 mins.
UNICEF Special Award for Children's Rights FESPACO
This is a touching investigation of innocent love between children in Senegal set against the background of a traditional class system. Despite the difference in their background and family-lives, five young children become friends. Omar is in love with Yacine, a pretty, intelligent girl from a wealthy family. He writes her a love letter, but it only causes misunderstanding and a rift between the two. Meanwhile, Demba falls in love with a beggar and they share secret long looks and tender touches in their brief meeting time. All the children seek advice from their mentor, who sells bicycle-rides at the beachfront. As Senegal begins to deteriorate under economic upheaval, their mentor starts striking and when Yacine's father looses his job, he is forced to take a transfer to a distant land.
Directed by Ben Diogaye Beye, Senegal, 2004, 35mm, 96 mins. In French with English subtitles.