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1.

Africa First: Volume One

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Short films from some of Africa's most compelling new talent. Pumzi: A futuristic film set in Nairobi, Kenya where the outdoors is extinct and has been outlawed. Saint Louis blues (also called N'Dar): A musical about a cross-country trip through Senegal in a battered taxi, as passengers sing their stories. The tunnel: In a small village in Zimbabwe terrorized by soldiers just after independence, a little girl creates a fantasy where her father escapes to freedom through a tunnel. The abyss boys: Two brothers who are abalone poachers in a South African fishing village try to escape their lives--but trying to escape causes their own destruction.
DVD
2011
Clemons (Stacks)
2.

It's Time [electronic resource]: African Women Join Hands Against Domestic Violence

Once accepted as a cultural norm in Africa, domestic violence is increasingly recognized for what it is-an assault on the rights and well-being of women, as well as a major impediment to progress on the continent. This program examines the issue in Ethiopia and South Africa, focusing on efforts to reduce and hopefully eliminate violence against women. Viewers meet survivors of domestic abuse and sex crimes who are regaining control over their lives in safe houses and educational centers. Also featured are Nomfundo Mogapi of South Africa's Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation; Annalize Teichmann, a South African prosecutor; Senait Berhanu of Ethiopia's Addis Ababa Women's Association; and other activists.
Online
2010; 2009
3.

Niger [electronic resource]: In the Shadow of Noma

Noma is an acute oral infection that attacks young, malnourished children. If left untreated-which, tragically, is often the case in Africa-it devours bone tissue and permanently disfigures its victims. This unflinching program studies the impact of the pitiless disease and will help viewers assess the ability and readiness of the international community to combat the suffering. Graphic scenes of school-age noma patients are interwoven with commentary from medical experts and heartbreaking accounts from family members who have watched as sons, daughters, and grandchildren succumb to the sickness. The film also describes low-cost interventions that could keep noma from spreading, if resources are made available.
Online
2010; 2009
4.

A Fresh Look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and South Africa [electronic resource]

This program concentrates on the central and southern African countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and South Africa. In Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, Jonathan Dimbleby meets a Congolese band whose polio-stricken members sing a message of hope; learns about China's deep investments in Africa's infrastructure and future successes; admires the Kimbangist Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; and marvels at how worn-out locomotives are repaired and kept in service. In and around Lusaka, he tours a Zambian-owned and -operated commercial farm and meets a world-champion female boxer and the inventor "Dr. Reason Why." And in Johannesburg and Durban, he rides with a biker group that spreads a message of empowerment to at-risk South African children; talks with jazz musician/activist [...]
Online
2010
5.

West Africa [electronic resource]

A collection of extraordinary plaques, seized as loot during the colonial aggression that ended the powerful Benin Empire in 1897, depict life in the African kingdom's royal court at its height. In this program art historian Gus Casely-Hayford travels to legendary Timbuktu, the Great Mosque of Djenn, the Oba Royal Palace, and Dogon country to learn more about how the plaques were made and what they reveal about the continent's sophisticated pre-colonial civilizations. In addition, Casely-Hayford meets with local historians, village elders, and craftspeople from hereditary guilds still using an ancient mix of metallurgical skill and spiritual practice to create traditional works of art.
Online
2011; 2009
6.

Maasai on the Move [electronic resource]

The Maasai make a living by sharing their traditional culture with tourists, but they are very much aware of the modern world and its problems. Economic downturns mean less visitors to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the Maasai live. Both herding and agriculture have become nearly impossible due to drought, leading to hunger, frustration, and yet more conflict with the government over land use. In this program three Maasai living in the NCA comment on issues the tribe faces today: development and climate change, family relations and marital problems, and the need to educate their children so they can be competitive in the 21st century world.
Online
2010
7.

Mali [electronic resource]: Message From the River

As climate change lays waste to the Niger River, the great Malian city of Timbuktu increasingly resembles a desert landscape. The same is true for much of land-locked Mali, which could, in a worst-case scenario, find itself without water altogether. Incorporating discussions of poverty, population growth, and other issues, this film examines the impact of desertification on two of the nation's indigenous peoples - the fishing-dependent Bozo, who have plied their trade along the Niger for centuries, and the Tuareg, an equally nomadic, pastoral culture threatened by the depletion of desert wells. A Malian environmentalist and a Timbuktu historian both share their expertise.
Online
2009
8.

A Fresh Look at Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria [electronic resource]

This program focuses on the western African countries of Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria. In Bamako, Segou, and Djenne, Jonathan Dimbleby learns how mopeds are moving Mali into a better future; meets a traditional wedding singer whose songs are uncustomarily female-empowering; watches enterprising sand-diggers at work in the Niger River; and visits the intricate Djenne mosque. In Kumasi and Accra, he views the Ghanaian Akwasidae Festival; spends time with the progressive King of the Ashanti; stops by the set of the reality TV show Soccer Academy; and attends an important fashion show. And in and around Lagos, he tours a Nigerian-owned and -operated cement-producing plant and meets a pair of homegrown hip-hop stars.
Online
2010
9.

A Fresh Look at Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania [electronic resource]

This program spotlights the eastern African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. In Aksum and Addis Ababa, Jonathan Dimbleby learns about initiatives to improve farming across Ethiopia; follows a pilgrimage to Aksum's Church of St. Mary of Zion; observes the Eid al-Adha festival in Addis Ababa; attends a session of a coffee-growers' commodity exchange; and visits some fair trade businesses. In Nairobi and Makutano, he sees firsthand how the cell phone revolution is transforming Kenya; considers the positive social significance of the soap opera Makutano Junction; and explains how new highways are enhancing economic growth. And in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, he takes part in Tanzanian independence day festivities and applauds the nation's freedom of speech, a vital force for democracy.
Online
2010
10.

Triage [electronic resource]: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma

Some call humanitarianism a waste of hope. But as a medical responder to the Rwanda Genocide and the 1992 Somali famine, Dr. James Orbinski has come to a different conclusion. In this program the former head of Doctors Without Borders returns to Africa to reunite with people he saved 15 years earlier, and to reflect on the challenges of his work. The video features powerful footage from Orbinski's aid missions and disturbing, ultimately inspiring stories of the brutality he witnessed while risking his own life to help others. Grappling with the questions of blame and futility at the core of any humanitarian crisis, Orbinski concludes that relief efforts should not be thought of as a panacea, but as a response to one other human being in need.
Online
2007
11.

Tribal Wives [electronic resource]: Challenging Western Views of Polygamy and Female Circumcision

Single and in her early thirties, educator Dionne Braham has become disenchanted with the romantic ideal of the perfect mate-actually, with the idea of finding any mate in her familiar London milieu. But she experiences an even greater paradigm-shift when she travels to Tanzania to live with and learn from a Maasai family for a month. This program documents her transformative journey and the challenges it entails. Tasked with everything from milking cows to plastering huts with dung, Dionne grapples with troubling subjects like polygamy, female circumcision, and the virtual powerlessness of women in Maasai society-all while struggling to refrain from imposing Western views and morals.
Online
2010
12.

Tribal Wives [electronic resource]: A Look Into Tribal Family Life and Female Independence

Twenty-three-year-old Charlie Brades has agreed to spend a month among the Yoruk-nomadic shepherds who live in the mountains of southern Turkey. This program follows the spirited Londoner as she adapts to life in a polygamous family and a remote, back-to-basics environment. Although Charlie's youth was far from carefree, she is wholly unprepared for the rough work, the communal sleeping arrangements, and especially the subservient female role that her new surroundings require. Her Western notions of independence are continually put to the test as she and her hosts exchange views on clothes, domestic duties, marriage, and other culturally loaded topics.
Online
2010
13.

Tribal Wives [electronic resource]: Western Taboos Versus Tribal Traditions

In England, Anna de Vere won't leave the house without putting on nail polish. In Ethiopia's drought-stricken Omo Valley, where she has come to live with the struggling Hamar tribe, her only cosmetic is the red ocher rubbed into her hair - a tradition among Hamar women and an emblem of the cultural shifts the 52-year-old Anna must contend with. This program records her month-long adventure and its impact on her way of living and thinking. For the Hamar, she learns, crying is taboo except when someone dies, and the main reason for having children is to increase one's security in old age. Perhaps most jarring, however, is the enthusiasm with which teenage Hamar girls allow their male counterparts to whip them and thereby initiate them into womanhood.
Online
2010
14.

Angola [electronic resource]: Curse of Oil

Poverty in Africa reminds us that abundant natural resources don't automatically translate into widespread economic wealth. This program brings home the disturbing reality of daily life in Angola-marked by ramshackle houses, open sewers, and a question that grows louder every day: who benefits from the country's vast oil resources? Outlining the nation's colonial and Cold War traumas, the film examines the civil war between MPLA and UNITA forces and the present-day mismanagement of oil revenues stemming from that conflict. Related topics include China's growing role in the country, the tragedy of child hunger and malnutrition, and Angola's widespread problem of land mine injuries.
Online
2009; 2008
15.

Flowers of Rwanda [electronic resource]: Making Peace With Genocide

Can killers and survivors coexist in peace? That is the crucial question facing Rwanda a dozen years after the genocide that claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 people-and the subject of this multi-award-winning documentary. Using interviews with Joseph Habineza, Minister of Education and Culture; Freddy Mutanguha, director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center; and numerous survivors, Flowers of Rwanda considers whether forgiveness and reconciliation can truly be achieved so the country can eradicate the ignorance and extremism that paved the way for monumental atrocity.
Online
2009; 2008
16.

To Love Oneself [electronic resource]: Grassroots Humanitarian Activities in Benin, Ethiopia, and Mali

Taking a grassroots approach to dealing with the physical and societal ills plaguing their countries, individuals and small groups in sub-Saharan Africa are creating success amidst widespread civil and economic instability. This program illustrates five empowering instances of solidarity and self-help: the Yeredeme project, run by single mothers in Mali; the Janjigui So association, for Malian women with improperly healed fistulas; the Fasil Circus, an entertainment troupe providing education and purpose for at-risk children in Ethiopia; the work of Adama "Kansaye" Diallo, a benefactor and mentor of street children in Mali; and the smuggling of black market gasoline into Benin-a valued service abetted by sympathetic mechanics and border guards that is a vital means of subsistence for [...]
Online
2008; 2004
17.

Who Controls Africa? [electronic resource]: Power Structures in Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali

Women form the backbone of sub-Saharan Africa and consistently exert some measure of control alongside men, whether it is as a local ruler, a witch, an activist, a wage earner, a laborer, or a caregiver. This program examines female, male, and mixed power structures, with a focus on the Bijagos Islands, where three queens and a king still rule autonomously even as the state government in Guinea-Bissau seeks to take control; Mali, where women ably run small businesses in a culture where both male-dominated democracy and male/female sorcery exist side by side; and Ghana, where all-male asafo companies-former military units that today are dedicated to social service-meet in rowing competitions for prestige and to honor their king.
Online
2008; 2004
18.

Growing Up in Africa [electronic resource]: Helping Children in Benin, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda

Based on recent statistics, 90 percent of the world's orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa; 40 percent of African children work seven days a week; and many support themselves by prostitution or are subjected to enslavement. This program highlights the work of the Terre des Hommes Oasis Center, in Benin, which rescues, rehabilitates, and returns exploited children to their families; the Jinja School for Orphans, in Uganda; extended families on Kenya's Lamu Island, who educate and support the locale's many orphans; Barbara Petersen, who feeds and counsels street children in South Africa; and, also in South Africa, the Dance for All project, an initiative that brings dance to the poor areas of Cape Town.
Online
2008; 2004
19.

Dying in Africa [electronic resource]: Perspectives on the End of Life in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and South Africa

In Africa-where infant mortality is sky-high, tens of millions have AIDS, and life expectancies can be as meager as 39 years-death is an all-too-frequent presence. This program presents sub-Saharan perspectives on the end of life: lavish Ghanaian funerals involving caskets shaped into whatever is most emblematic of the deceased; funeral rites of the Dogon, in Mali, where alcohol fermentation is attributed to the powers of the departed; the views of the Fulani of the Sahel, who do not believe in life after death; and the roles of the griot's tam-tam drum and fire kindled by a blacksmith's wife in the funeral rites of rural Burkina Faso. In addition, the good works of Sparrow Rainbow Village, in South Africa-the only residential facility in Africa established to meet the needs of termi [...]
Online
2008; 2004
20.

Miraculous Water [electronic resource]: Effects of Scarcity and Abundance in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mali

In sub-Saharan Africa, water is the focus of daily life. This program seeks to understand its centrality by investigating the situation at Lake Ganvie, Benin, an "African Venice" where survival is threatened by environmental changes, improper sanitation, and water-related illnesses; a perceived correlation among Dogon elders between their people's shift away from the worship of Nommo and an increase in drought conditions; the scarcity of and limited access to water in Ethiopia near the Sahel; annual mud-fishing in Mali, as malnourished locals, desperate to fill their stomachs, gather unhealthy fish in the sure knowledge that eating them will make them ill; and the worship of Mami Wata on the banks of the Volta River and the annual fetatotro, a turning-of-the-year festival.
Online
2008; 2004