Programme Schedule
NB ALL FILMS ARE RATED ‘G’ UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED
 

Friday, March 6, 2015: Arts Lecture Theatre, Humanities Courtyard, behind the Clock Tower. Doors to right and left of the colonnaded plinth.

 
Session One: Dreaming to Rise 1
 
6:00 PM – 8.00 PM
 
Introduction

 
Life in Progress
(Irene Loebell, 99m, South Africa, Switzerland)
 Twenty years after the end of apartheid, Life In Progress delivers a close insight into the lives of three adolescents living in a rundown township near Johannesburg called Katlehong, a Sotho word for “progress”. In the dance group Taxido, which fills their days with rehearsals and performances, they find a structure lacking from their daily lives. Jerry, founder, choreographer and manager of the troupe, has transcended his own violent past and passionately urges them on to greater heights. Sometimes too passionately: as they approach adulthood and other priorities emerge, they begin to reject Jerry’s way of maintaining discipline and look for other ways of surviving.
 
 
Discussion
 
Session Two: The Politics of Survival
 
8:00 PM – 9.40 PM


Loafers
(Olga Pirkovskaya,15m, Guinea)
 Shot in the Republic of Guinea just as Ebola was starting to spread, the film however focuses on the underlying causes of the catastrophe from the point of view of a local observer. He seeks to understand why, although corruption, social problems and environmental disaster are far from new, the international community continues to ignore African problems. The main questions of the film are: do western countries really help African countries? Has western intrusion influenced their natural development? And what is the solution?
 
Undermined: an Epidemic in South Africa Gold Mines
(Mo Scarpelli, South Africa, 9 mins)
For generations, both during Apartheid and since, a river of disease has flowed through the mines of South Africa.  This short documentary exposes the unattended tuberculosis crisis in one of Africa’s biggest economies.
 
Discussion
 
Positively Beautiful
(Diveena Cooppan, 63m, South Africa, USA)
In South Africa, five strangers facing shame and potential death from AIDS form an unlikely friendship. It transforms them from ordinary citizens to extraordinary activists. They struggle against stigma and fear; suicide and isolation. At the height of the epidemic they form a network for people living with HIV. As friends and family die, and leaders deny the existence of HIV, they fight harder. Fifteen years later, against all odds, they are still alive. Their friendship becomes a remarkable story: a quiet victory of meaningful, beautiful lives in an evolving South Africa. It gives strength in their struggles: of having children, fighting cancer, and being lesbian in South Africa. Positively Beautiful is a story about life and love in the age of HIV/AIDS.
 
Discussion
 
Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination: Cinemateque
 


Saturday, March 7, 2014:

 
Session Three: Dreaming to Rise 2
 
2:00 PM – 3.15 PM

 
The Ball
(John Goheen, 5m, Kenya, USA)
Shot in one of Nairobi’s largest slums – Kibera - with an estimated 800,000 residents, this short takes viewers into a place that most outsiders would not risk visiting. It follows two young boys in their quest to some day leave the slum by becoming professional soccer players. Through hard work and ingenuity, these boys find a way to go after their dream.
 
My Name is Dieme
(Jonathan Hyams, 4m, DR Congo. Uganda, United Kingdom)  
Dieme is 8 years old and from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His family fled to neighboring Uganda when war broke out between rebel groups and the Congolese military. Every day he risks his life crossing the border to his homeland to attend school. Dieme knows how dangerous this journey is but believes, 'it is better to die trying to get an education, than staying at home without a good future'. The documentary takes you on Dieme’s journey. 
 
 Dirty Hands: Clean Money
(John Goheen, 8m, Uganda, USA)
In many African countries garbage is an ever increasing problem. In Uganda's largest city, Kampala, roughly 800 tons of trash is generated each day. With limited government programs to deal with its removal, some enterprising citizens have taken to the streets, finding profitable solutions in some unexpected ways.
 
A goat for a vote
(Jeroen van Velzen, 51m, Kenya, Netherlands)
The best way to understand a society is to look at its children. Three students at Majaoni Secondary School in Kenya compete for the prestigious position of school president. Winning the annual school election not only affords them power and respect, but guarantees them a future in Kenyan society. Magdalene, who has to prove herself in an environment dominated by boys, has the impossible task of uniting her fellow female students in a fight for equal rights. Harry, from a poor family, hopes to win so he can take care of his family in the future. He struggles against the popular and charming Said, who is not only a natural born leader with a disarming smile but also a fast learner in the game of Kenyan politics. The endless enthusiasm and motivation of these three candidates lay the ground for a fierce election battle.
 
Discussion
 
Session Four: Cuban Stories
 
3.15  PM-5.03 PM

 
Maestra
(Catherine Murphy, 33m, Cuba)
Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women. The documentary explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island - and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.
 
Reembarque/Reshipment
(Gloria Rolando, 60m, Cuba, Haiti)
In the early 20th century, thousands of Haitian laborers worked the coffee plantations and sugarcane fields of Cuba, influencing the island’s music, language and culture. But when the market crashed, in the 1930s, many were expelled — sent back across the Windward Passage like so many damaged goods. The film, by one of Cuba’s foremost documentarists, revisits this forgotten chapter, recounting both the memories of Haitian families and the discrimination suffered by their Cuban descendants. The result is part Caribbean social history and part homage to the dreams and hardships of the immigrant experience.
Discussion
 
Session Five: Dreaming to Rise 3
 
5:03 PM – 6.18 PM

 
The Invented People. Echoes from Cape Verde
(Juan Meseguer, 70m, Cape Verde, Spain)
In 1984 a group of young Cape Verdeans influenced by the spirit of the Woodstock festival decided to create the "Baia das Gatas" festival on the island of San Vicente, Cape Verde. What they could not have imagined was that 30 years later this festival would be how the island would be known outside, and one of the most important annual events in the country. Its music brings echoes of an invented people.
 
Discussion
 
Session Six: Is Aid Bad? [Curator’s Recommendation]
6.18 PM - 8.00 PM


Poverty, Inc.
(Michael Matheson Miller, 94m, USA)
Fighting poverty is big business, but who profits the most? The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry of NGOs, state and multilateral agencies, and for-profit aid contractors. The business of ‘doing-good’ has never done better.
Unfortunately, the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change.
 
Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, but with considerable footage from Haiti, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we are all too tempted to ignore. The film invites the viewer to step into the shoes of local entrepreneurs and their colleagues and families, with expert commentary from public leaders, development economists, anthropologists, and others.
From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: could I be part of the problem?
 
 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

 
Session Seven: Inventing a Nation 1
 
2:00 PM – 3.15 PM
State Builders
(Florence Martin-Kessler , Anne Poiret, 70m, South Sudan, France)
State Builders is not a film about forgotten wars and improbable peace. Rather it is a film about the grey zone that occurs between war and peace, when it’s neither quite one nor the other.  In 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the world's newest nation. After a 50-year civil war, the stakes and hopes are high. But how does one build a country from scratch? The documentary follows a determined UN’s professional Nation Builders - veterans of Kosovo and East Timor - with a 19-point road map that has a price-tag in the billions of dollars, working with the country's newly appointed Vice-President as they attempt to shape the young democracy. The day of its independence in July 2011, South Sudan has a flag, a national anthem, a capital city – Juba - and a president, Salva Kiir, to prove its existence to the world and to its people. Everything else remains to be decided, built, and done: borders need to be set; a constitution drafted; an army and judicial system established, revenues from oil production and income tax perceived - all the basic elements that make up a state.
 
Discussion
 
Session Eight: Migrating to Survive
 
3.15 PM – 5.05 PM


The Vow
(Cameron Zohoori, 40m, Kenya, USA)
When Riqie Wainaina wins a green-card lottery in his home country Kenya, he thinks it’s a ticket to the American dream. He leaves his family and comes to a country he knows only from TV and movies. The reality of life when he arrives in the US is far more complicated. After becoming entrenched in a life of gangs and drug dealers, a tragic event prompts Riqie to transform his life. With the help of some innovative youth workers, he fights to leave behind a life of crime, poverty, and loss and become a leader in his adopted hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. But the past proves difficult to shake when his mistakes catch up with him and threaten to jeopardize his future.
 
Far from the shore (Lejos De La Orilla) [Curator’s Recommendation]
(Javier Sanz, 61m, Spain)
Eschewing a linear or realist treatment of a social ‘problem’, the film opts instead for an impressionistic montage of four personal stories. Placing Mariama, Amadou, Abdoulaye and Rahisy (two from the Gambia, one from Senegal and one from Puerto Rico) each in an individual setting that mirrors their quest and its obstacles, the documentary interweaves the heroic and anonymous journeys of people who struggle to transcend their difficulties and create something new.
 
Discussion
 
 
Session Nine: Inventing a Nation 2
 
5.05 PM – 6.37 PM

 
New Project: "Garifuna Nation"
(Carlos de Jesus, 82m, Belize, Honduras, Puerto Rico, USA)
The film presents a cultural encounter between two distinct Afro-Caribbean experiences: Afro-Puerto Rican and Garifuna. Through these two parallel perspectives, it examines how the experience of slavery has played itself out and how historical circumstances determine who we are today. Also known as the ‘black Caribs’, the Garifuna were formed when enslaved West Africans joined with Carib Indians to form a culture that has survived for over 212 years - on self-reliance, sacred spirit-possession practices and dance. Now, the Garifuna face the challenge of meshing western lifestyles and modern technology with the long-held values of their community.
 
Discussion
 
Session Ten: Haitian Stories
6.37 PM – 8.00 PM
 
Noise Runs
(Kim Borba, Ashley Panzera, 18m, Haiti, USA)
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, failed reconstruction has pushed social unrest to the breaking point. Protests erupt in the streets, and armed UN soldiers stalk the angry crowds. But a group of young Haitians, driven by their passion for a new Haiti, is sparking social change. To democratize information and offer hope to the population, they produce a radical newspaper, Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads).
 
The documentary follows this team of idealistic citizen journalists as they confront the problems that NGOs and government could not solve. Undaunted by the threat of an oppressive government, they maneuver their way into prison to visit a political prisoner and unravel the story behind his illegal arrest. Unfazed by the downpour of Tropical Storm Isaac, they take us into the tent camps of Port-au-Prince to investigate the housing crisis that has left more than 150,000 people homeless. With youthful optimism, they strive to capture international attention via Twitter and YouTube. Their on-the-ground accounts take the audience beyond the characterization of Haiti as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” putting a human face to the statistics and challenging stigmas of victimhood.
 
La Belle Vie: The Good Life
(Rachelle Salnave, 62m, Haiti, USA)
Child of elite ‘mulatto’ migrants, Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave, grows up ignorant of the complexities of Haitian class and political power. When she sets out to explore her parents’ country in the wake of the earthquake, she is shocked not only by its poverty but her own relegation to the status of ‘blan’ or ‘dyaspora’. Interweaving her own personal family stories with other Haitian voices, the film examines the rationale behind its social class system and how it has affected the Haitian-American migrant experience. The film is an optimistic call to forsake division and prejudice, and work as one to rebuild and prosper in the name of a new and stronger Haiti.
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Faculty of Humanities and Education
Telephone: (246) 417-4385/87 Fax: (246) 424-0634 E-mail: humanities@cavehill.uwi.edu