New Voices in Black Cinema—Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Friday, April 27, 2018

New Voices in Black Cinema—Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29

Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature "I Am Not a Witch"

New Voices in Black Cinema—April 27 through Sunday, April 29

We didn't land on Plymouth rock! Plymouth rock landed on us. You've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, run amuck and led astray! A quote from the film “Malcolm X”

Don’t let Hollywood fool you, there are plenty of interesting Black filmmakers making movies that matter and because there are so many, one single film festival can’t contain all the goodness.

There are two days left to enjoy this festival.Saturday, April 28 through Sunday, April 29. This marks BAMcinématek eighth annual New Voices in Black Cinema.  The series provides a showcase of new and established voices in black independent cinema reflecting the wide spectrum of stories by and about African diasporic communities in the United States and beyond. 

This year’s series includes 10 feature-length films and three short film programs comprising diverse work from up and coming talent.
Opening the series is Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature "I Am Not a Witch". Set in modern-day Zambia, the film centers on a nine-year-old girl accused of being a witch. She must decide whether to accept life as a witch or be turned into a goat. The film uses satire and magical realism to explore questions of fate and freedom. Closing the festival is Sam Pollard’s documentary "Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me" which examines the life and politics of the color barrier-breaking performer. 

Other films include Maynard a documentary delving into the life of the first black Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, "Maynard Jackson, Jr." The film shows how through strengthening affirmative action and voter turnout, Maynard changed Atlanta from the “heart of the Confederate south” to an inclusive cosmopolitan city.

The New York premiere of Geoffrey Pingree and Rian Brown’s "The Foreigner’s Home". Produced by the late Jonathan Demme, the documentary expands upon the question “Who is the foreigner?”–originally asked by Toni Morrison in her 2006 exhibition at the Louvre. Using archival footage, animation, and exclusive interviews with Morrison the film explores themes of identity, race, and art. 

"The Giant is Falling" by Rehad Desai is a documentary that captures the political events that have led to the unraveling of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. While the ANC has been in power since Nelson Mandela’s 1994 election, the film chronicles the party’s failure to deliver on its promises of equality in South Africa.

Under the New Voices section and making its New York premiere is "Jinn" by Nijla Mu’min.  The film recently won a special jury prize at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. In this bittersweet coming of age story questions of identity, faith, and family are triggered after the 17-year-old protagonist’s mother converts to Islam. 

Also, screening is the comedy "La Vie de Chateau" which follows a quick-witted hustler (Charles) trying to start his own business. The film is rooted in the struggle of the immigrant experience in the Parisian African neighborhood Château d’Eau.

If romance is what you’re craving with a mature outlook on the process of love, try Darien Sills-Evans’ New York premiere of "One Bedroom" which takes place during a single afternoon as a long-time couple reflects on their past while contemplating separation. 

Looking at marriage through the eyes of an orthodox Muslim woman Aminah Abdul-Jabbar's "Muslimah’s Guide to Marriage" is a romantic-comedy set in Inglewood, California and follows the life of an African American orthodox Muslim woman trying to mend a fractured marriage. The series also includes Brooklyn director Eden Marryshow’s Bruce!!!! which was made on a shoestring budget, the film follows a man-child who refuses to grow up until he meets and falls in love with a woman.

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