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Africa, Sub-Saharan — Social Conditions
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1.

Great Zimbabwe [electronic resource]

The Victorian explorer who discovered the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, with its high, sweeping walls and complex passageways, had no idea who could have built it. The vast stone city remained at the center of debate for decades. In this program art historian Gus Casely-Hayford pieces together the story of the African empire and how it was linked to surrounding kingdoms as part of a medieval gold trade flowing from Great Zimbabwe's towers to the Swahili Coast and on as far as China. He examines linguistic and archaeological evidence of the trade by visiting key sites along the route, including Mapungubwe, Manyikeni, and the Great Mosque of Kilwa. Casely-Hayford is guided on his trek by Great Zimbabwe's modern heirs, who honor their history by keeping artistic and spiritual traditions alive.
Online
2009
2.

Alhaji's Wives [electronic resource]

Alhaji has taken five wives; one died, he divorced another and lives with the remaining three. This program travels to Nigeria to examine the impact of polygamy and divorce on the country's population demographics, focusing on a case study of one family to highlight trends and concerns. The connection between religious values and family planning becomes apparent in interviews with various people in the community. The program also visits a school for women who have been divorced or widowed and want to learn a skill or receive a basic education. A United Nations Production.
Online
2006; 2001
3.

Africans in America [electronic resource]: Unfolding of Ethnic Identity

This program uses in-depth interviews with two generations of five African families now living in the Denver area to explore the dynamic process that is ethnic identity. Having emigrated from Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, the families bring unique traditions to a shared experience: life in America. The interviews reveal the hopes of the first generation for the second, the thoughts and feelings of both parents and children on cultural transition, their sense of self as they live in America and interact with others, and their pride in adding to the rich national tapestry.
Online
2006; 2002
4.

The Masai Today [electronic resource]: Changing Traditions

Swahili or English? Extended or nuclear family? Cattle or camel herding? For the proud, pastoral Masai tribe of Africa, Western culture's advance brings decisions in every area of an ancient lifestyle. Filmed over the course of seven years, this program follows one family as it contends with the challenges of modernity facing the Masai people as a whole. Through interviews and an extremely detailed depiction of Masai daily life, the program explores changing gender relations, language and identity, tribal leadership and family structure, and the influence of education.
Online
2006; 2003
5.

Breaking the Silence [electronic resource]: Lifting the Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, fear of HIV has led to a stigma against those who carry it. This case study spotlights the heroic efforts of individuals and organizations such as Dawn of Hope, the Cheshire Foundation, Mekdim, and Save Your Generation to open a life-saving dialogue about the disease that includes community education on HIV transmission and prevention as well as counseling and care for those in HIV-related need. "This issue is knocking on everybody's door," says Tsegaye, a young man who came out about his infection to open the eyes of his friends to the danger of unprotected sex. "Each of us must do our part." Contains discussions of condom use.
Online
2005; 2003
6.

Dying to Be Free [electronic resource]: Zimbabwe's Struggle for Change

A portrait of the politics and history of Zimbabwe, this program traces Robert Mugabe's rise to power and depicts his 22-year dictatorship in a country where millions rely on food aid to survive, inflation is at 500 percent, and almost three quarters of the country's workforce is unemployed. Also included is rare footage that captures the demand for change and the popular support for the new opposition party, MDC, during the presidential election in 2002.
Online
2006; 2003
7.

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
8.

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu [electronic resource]

In the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, thousands of scientific and religious texts-among Africa's oldest literature-have been hidden for centuries. This program examines the rich history and variety of Timbuktu's lost libraries and shows how they have recently garnered the world's attention. Viewers meet local scholars, as well as experts from across Africa and the Western world, who elucidate just how valuable these fragile treasures are to our knowledge of Africa, Islam, and the growth of literacy outside the Western tradition. The program also asks: how differently would Africa have developed if the libraries hadn't been forced underground by colonial interests?
Online
2009; 2008
9.

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
10.

Umoja, the Village Where Men Are Forbidden [electronic resource]

In the Samburu district of Kenya, women have only the rights they can seize for themselves. To break free from spousal abuse, forced marriage, genital mutilation, and the spread of HIV/AIDS-and to defend themselves against rape by local British soldiers-a group of abandoned Samburu women founded Umoja, a village off-limits to men. Two decades on, the tiny community is thriving, but in a growing climate of menace as the Samburu men seek any means to destroy Umoja and reestablish the age-old status quo. Filmed on location, this program gives a voice to town matriarch Rebecca Lolosoli and other villagers who communicate their determination to remain free while painting a realistic picture of their uphill battle to establish gender equality in the region-and to simply survive.
Online
2010; 2008
11.

Modern Slavery [electronic resource]: Debt Bondage and Child Soldiers

Indentured servitude, however dehumanizing, played a role in the colonization and development of early America. But its 21st-century incarnation, the practice of debt bondage, contributes virtually nothing to the common good of southern Asia. This program examines the plight of workers in India's rural areas, exposing the conditions in which they toil to pay off staggering personal debts. More tragic still are the ranks of child soldiers forced to fight in African militias and armies. Viewers meet Moses, who was kidnapped as a boy and absorbed into Uganda's LRA insurgency. The film shows him going through the process of shedding his soldier's ways, rejoining his family, and trying to reclaim his life.
Online
2010; 2008
12.

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
13.

Time for School Part 3 [electronic resource]: Hope and Despair in the Fight for an Education

The 2009 installment in Wide Angle's Time for School series reenters the lives of seven students in seven different countries, offering a glimpse of the worldwide battle to get what most American children take for granted: a basic education. These riveting case studies in India, Afghanistan, Kenya, Benin, Brazil, Japan, and Romania feature young teenagers embracing academic challenges that will, with luck and hard work, prepare them for high school. Other hurdles, from school closings to slum crackdowns to violent fundamentalism, continue to disrupt hopes and dreams-forcing one child to repeat a grade, another to study on an empty stomach, and another to quit her education altogether. But a conversation with Benin-born musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo provides [...]
Online
2010; 2009
14.

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
15.

Wangari Maathai [electronic resource]: For Our Land

Through her Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai-environmental activist, social justice advocate, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient-has planted 30 million trees in Kenya while protecting existing forests endangered by development. A veritable force of nature herself, Maathai communicates her infectious fervor as she advocates environmental action and government reform in this documentary. The program also captures a sense of modern Kenya's history: a country co-opted by British colonialism, energized by independence, and mired in a repressive era of political corruption.
Online
2010; 2009
16.

Wole Soyinka [electronic resource]: Child of the Forest

A literary lion and a diehard political activist, Wole Soyinka has spent a long lifetime speaking truth to power. Part tribute and part retrospective, this program examines the Nigerian Nobel Laureate's actions and achievements through archival footage and insightful interviews. Commentary is provided by Soyinka; his sons Makin and Olaokun Soyinka; his friend Yemi Ogunbiyi; Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer; Maya Jaggi, cultural journalist and critic; Biodun Jeyifo, literary scholar and critic; publisher Margret Busby; poet Odia Ofeimun; playwright Femi Osofisan; and writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Biyi Bandele, Teju Cole, Helon Habila, Bankole Omotoso, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., and Molara Wood.
Online
2010; 2009
17.

Chad [electronic resource]: Hydraulic Projects and Peace

Characterized as an LDC or Least Developed Country, the nation of Chad wrestles with drought, population growth, and resulting tensions between farmers and herders. This program investigates hydraulic projects and mediation initiatives that are fostering relationships between Chad's food growers and its nomadic, livestock-centered cultures. Overviewing the basic causes of Chadian land disputes and competition for water sources as well as failed modernization schemes proposed during the 1960s, the film explores new solutions based on recognizing traditional agriculture and natural migration routes. Viewers witness "sit-down" talks between farmers and herders that could help prevent regional conflicts from flaring up.
Online
2010; 2009
18.

Senegal [electronic resource]: Water Treatment and Distribution

Our most valuable treasure, is how residents of Dakar describe the Bay of Han. But pollution from both residential and industrial sources is destroying the body of water that has long supported fishing families in the Senegalese capital. This program reports on Western-aided efforts to restore the bay's ecological health and its viability as an economic resource. Specific challenges include the lack of plumbing services in many Dakar homes and harmful by-products from businesses-exemplified by waste from a local slaughterhouse. Solutions focus on improved piping and drainage, better sewage collection and infrastructure, and the construction of a new water treatment plant and waste discharge system.
Online
2010; 2009
19.

Madagascar [electronic resource]: Agro-Ecology

Illegal deforestation, slash-and-burn practices, poverty, land disputes-these are among the many problems associated with farming in Madagascar. This program guides viewers through the real-world challenges of building sustainable agriculture in the country. Outlining reasons why many growers are unable or unwilling to leave outmoded techniques behind, the film visits community offices that support local farmers in organizing, obtaining microfinancing, and increasing efficiency. Erosion, soil management, irrigation and drainage, and the development of mixed farming-or combining crop cultivation and animal herding-are examined. Ecologists, agriculture experts, and a traveling veterinarian add commentary.
Online
2010; 2009
20.

Congo Basin [electronic resource]: Sustainable Forestry

Among the largest, most pristine areas of tropical woodland on the planet, the Congo Basin forests could easily fall prey to shortsighted and exploitative commercial interests. This program looks at sustainable lumber production initiatives taking root in the region, with a focus on cutting-edge forestry management as well as economic growth through increased cooperation between local concession-holders. Viewers join a planning team and a chain-saw crew in the remote woodlands of Gabon as they take great care to preserve the fragile ecosystem, and another team of advisors as they set up meetings between small African foresters-who, despite initial skepticism, see a need for collective economic leverage.
Online
2010; 2009