From March 16th-18th, The Department of Africana Studies hosted the 50th Anniversary Film Festival, "Black Identity on the Silver Screen" in Wesley W. Posvar Hall and virtually on Zoom. Screenings featured commentary and discussion by scholars and directors about the ongoing interaction between Africa and the broader world.
About the Films
Gurumbe: Afro-Andualusion Memories (2016)
Directed by Guillermo Angel Rosales
An estimated 90,000 Africans were brought to Spain as slaves between the 16th-18th centuries. While labor reinforced its economy, African cultures diffused throughout Spanish society, contributing to the development of musical genres such as Flamenco, which are hallmarks of Spanish society. Still, Africa's influence has been gradually disregarded, as the country has worked to reshape its national image; a trend that continues today in response to immigration of the 20th century. Through Gurumbe: Afro Andalusian Memories, Miguel Angel Rosales challenges the popular narrative by illustrating the ongoing presence of African cultures in Spanish music, dance and folklore, and thus a dialogue between Spain and Africa that has existed for centuries.
Directed by Roland Vranik
Wilson is a Bissau-Guinean refugee who settles in Budapest, Hungary after fleeing his country's civil war. Having lost his wife and daughters to the conflict, he builds a new life as a market security guard while trying to pass the country's citizenship test. After taking in Shirin, a pregnant refugee from Iran who arrives illegally, and a local Hungarian tutor named Mari, with whom he falls in love, their devotion to one another is tested. Through differeing life philosophies, prejudice, and the threat of deportation, they struggle to navigate their lives as refugees in Hungarian society.
Directed by Ike Nnaebue
26 years ago, Ike Nnaebue attempted to flee Nigeria for a better life in Europe. Now, as a Lagos-based film director of No U-Turn, he documents the journey of West African migrants who attempt to reach the continent today. No U-Turn portrays the causes and motivations of migrants who risk their lives for opportunities abroad.
About the Directors
Miguel Angel Rosales - Spain
Miguel Angel Rosales is an anthropologist, environmental engineer and filmmaker from Jerez, Spain. Growing up in one of the capitals of Flamenco music, he is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Granada, and now serves as a scholar in residence and Nielson Prefessor of Spanish and Portugese at Smith College. His lectures include "Submerged Stories", "Surviving Stories", and "A Focus on the Environment as a Source for the Recuperation of Memory", which collectively focus on Spain's African cultural heritage and colonial history.
Ike Nnaebue - Nigeria
Ike Nnaebue is a director, writer, and composer from Ojoto, Nigeria. Having attempted to migrate to Europe as a youth, he has since stayed in Nigeria where he has directed films such as FALSE (2013), which won the Golden Iron Academy Award and Sink or Swim, which dramatizes illegal immigration and human trafficking. He is also the founder of Treasurewells Academy and the host of Breaking Into Nollywood, African filmmakers.
Roland Vranik - Hungary
Roland Vranik is a director and writer from Budapest, Hungary. As a graduate of the National Film Institute of Hungary, he has worked on numerous films, shorts and feature films, including Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) and Transmission (2009), and has received several awards, including the 2007 Prize For Best Film at the Antwerpen International Film Festival and 2010 Best Picture of the Malaga International Film Festival.