African Video Resources

African Films webpage:

AMANDLA! A revolution in four part harmony / Kwela Productions in association with Bomb Films, HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films, The Ford Foundation and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Tells the story of black South African freedom music and the central role it played against apartheid. Specifically considers the music that sustained and galvanized blacks for more than 40 years. Focuses on the struggle's spiritural dimension named for the Xhosa word for "power". An uplifting story of human courage, resolve and triumph.


(Motion picture) DreamWorks Pictures presents in association with HBO Pictures ; directed by Steven Spielberg; chronicles the 1839 revolt on board the slave ship Amistad bound for America. Much of the story involves the court-room drama about the slave who led the revolt.

Achebe discusses the role of the African storyteller, one who hears the music of history and weaves the fabric of memory, one obliged to be the people's collective sometimes to offend "the Emperor" in so doing. Achebe discusses his observations and criticisms of both African and Western politics and culture, the stages in his awakening to inaccurate and demeaning depictions of black Africans in works such as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, to his closing advice that the West: "listen to the weak." 30 min. Distributed by PBS Video, Public Affairs Television, WNET/New York and WWTTW/Chicago, Alexandria, VA; 1989.



Richard Attenborough’s 1987 riveting story of black activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) and liberal white newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline). Woods undertakes a perilous quest to expose the horrors of apartheid, escape South Africa, and bring Biko’s remarkable tale of courage to the world. Cry Freedom Originally released as a motion picture in 1987.


DAWN OF MAN Dawn of man a BBC/The Learning Channel co-production. A look at thre last 2.5 million years of human evolution, including homo erectus, homo heidelbergensis, and homo sapiens.

(THE) DIAMOND EMPIRE The diamond empire a BBC/WGBH-Frontline/ABC-TV-Impact Media/InCA co-production ; produced by Laurie Flynn; directed by Gavin MacFadyen. Central to the diamond's role as a romantic symbol is the belief that diamonds are one of the rarest, most precious gifts for a loved one. This documentary how the great myth about the scarcity of diamonds and their inflated value was created and maintained over the decades by the diamond cartel.


Non-European: Cultures & Literatures of Africa
Cora's African Films webpage:


(Television program)Egypt's golden empire a Lion Television production association with PBS and Devillier Donegan Enterprises; series produced and directed by Richard Bradley; produced and directed by Richard Bradley. Examines Egypt's New Kingdom, 1560 B.C. to 1080 B.C.


KHARTOUM United Artists ; produced by Julian Blaustein; written by Robert Ardrey; directed by Basil Dearden. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1966. Chronicles Britain's crisis of being defeated in the Sudan and the subsequent retaliatory siege of Khartoum in 1883.



Non-European: Cultures & Literatures of Africa
The first anti-apartheid film by, for and about black South Africans, Mapantsula (review from California Newsreel) was filmed inside Soweto and scored to the urban beat of "Township Jive" by directors Thomas Mogotlane and Oliver Schmitz, who deceived South African authorities into believing they were shooting a conventional gangster movie. Instead Mogotlane and Schmitz made an uncompromisingly honest anti-apartheid film endorsed by the ANC, banned by South African censors and acclaimed at film festivals worldwide. Panic, the central character (and acted by Thomas Mogotlane), is a mapantsula, Zulu term for petty crook and a popular rebellious figure in urban folklore and fiction. The 1988 film traces Panic’s transformation from irresponsible individualist to a man compelled to take a stand against an unjust system. (In English, Sotho and Afrikaans, with English subtitles.) See also American University's Cross-Cultural Film Guide to Mapantsula, and Internet Movie Database's entries on Mapantsula and the directors.
Cora's African Films webpage: 

Non-European: Cultures & Literatures of Africa
Bob Rafelson directed this powerful epic of explorers John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Francis Burton’s quest to find the source of the River Nile during the mid-19th century. Spectacular adventure studs Mountains of the Moon (1990) based on William Harrison’s novel.
Cora's African Films webpage:

Western World & Non-European: Cultures & Literatures of Africa
Cora's African Films webpage: 



SLAVE NARRATIVES  Found voices the slave narratives; ABC News ; Ted Koppel. Variant Title: Slave narratives. Originally broadcast on Jan. 12, 1999 as a Nightline program. Program tells of sound recordings made of interviews With former slaves in the 1930s and 1940s. Tapes have been digitally re-mastered and video includes transcript as subtitles. Slaves interviewed include Fountain Hughes (VA), Laura Smalley (TX), Harriet Smith (TX); interviewers include John Henry Faulk.


Non-European Cultures & Literatures: Africa
International award-winner Wend Kuuni ("God's Gift"; Burkina Faso, 1982; 70 min.), directed by Gaston Kabore, offers a "gentle fable" of a mute, memoryless orphan found and adopted by a village. Renamed "Wend Kuuni," or "God's Gift," the boy finds real community and recovers his ability to communicate among adopted family and village, even as flashbacks ironically reveal his mother's fate after rejection by her native community. Set before the coming of Islam and Christianity, unveiled through the rhythmic compositions of African oral storytelling, Kabore's fable offers lessons for contemporary Burkina Faso: traditional Mossi values yet have the power to heal and unify a modern African state torn by dislocation, refugees, and social conflict. In More, with English subtitles. La Direction du Cinema; Kino Video/California' Newsreel's Library of African Cinema < >
Cora's African Films webpage: 

Non-European Cultures & Literatures: Africa
Cora's African Films webpage: