African Film Festival

Posted Tuesday 29 Mar 2016

WIFT member Marilyn McFadyen is back with another African Film Festival New Zealand. Last year's was a huge success, and Marilyn would like to give a big thanks to everyone who supported and attended. The Trustees of the African film festival once again invite you to join the African Film Festival at the Rialto Cinemas, Newmarket from 7 April to 13 April 2016.

By showcasing the complex stories and everyday realities of life on the African continent, the African Film Festival advances an enhanced understanding of African cultures through film.

Follow the links to the website and book your tickets now!

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Of the eleven films scheduled, four of them are directed by women and one directly addresses the issue of forced marriages.

Here are a couple of Marilyn's favourites:

Directed by Zeresenay B.Mehari, Difret is the true story of a fourteen year old Ethiopian girl, who is kidnapped by a gang of men for marriage then raped by her main abductor - her "husband to be". She manages to escape and in the ensuing chase shoots and kills the "husband". Under traditional law she is held responsible and put on trial for murder. The story that follows traces the clash between rural and urban, traditional and modern Ethiopian cultures, as a women's legal aid group takes on her case with results that shake the country to its cultural core. Beautifully shot and acted, it's one of the picks of the festival in my humble opinion!

They Will have To Kill Us First is another special story, this time from Mali and directed by the UK's Johanna Schwartz. When jihadists take over Timbuktu and the surrounding areas, music is banned from public performances. As music is one of Mali's most important means of communicating ideas, the musicians of Mali are not about to take this lying down! The documentary follows several individuals and groups who flee the area, but manage to keep their musical traditions alive while they try to come home. One group "Songhoy Blues" have since made an international career for themselves and have just been playing at WOMAD in New Plymouth.