African Shorts / Necktie Youth (ZA/NL 2015, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer)

Here’s the second part of our section on young African cinema since two films surely aren’t enough to illustrate the vividness and creativity of contemporary African cinema.

Therefore, in our AFRICAN OUTLINES programme on Apr 30 we will screen a bunch of films (short and long) from different African countries that will show you the wide range of topics and styles to be found in the cinematic landscape of Africa—from political, post-colonial films to animated experimental films to sci-fi flicks and beyond.

We’re also very happy to have media-ethnologist Claudia Böhme at our festival to give some context to films and introduce us to different strands of African cinema.

Hope y’all had a sunny day! See you soon in the screening hall!

Young Africans: Short films and lecture by Claudia Böhme (University of Trier)

Hand-drawn and puppetry animation, a documentary and a scenic contribution show landscapes of childhood, places of longing and unhuman urbanities which youths not only pass through as vulnerable beings but furthermore critically look at the adult world. For Patient, Guillain and David, there is nothing to lose and everything to win…so get the fuck out of their way. Theo Anthony’s documentary »Chop My Money« accompanies the three children strolling about on the streets of Gomas, talking about their biographies and dreams and about what it means to be a gangster. Soundtrack by Dirty Beaches. »Yellow Fever« shows the effects of Eurocentric ideals of beauty spread by mass media and advertising on African women, while the dream-nightmare-clash »Walk With Me« tells the story of a young Ugandan girl wishing to be a ballerina. »The Goat« supplements the compilation with a tale of a male circumcision ritual through which one becomes a man and that  is to cure of homosexual desire.  

Chop My Money (CD 2014, D: Theo Anthony, OV with English subtitles, 13’)
Yellow Fever (UK/KE 2012, D: Ng’endo Mukii, OV with English subtitles, 7’)
Walk With Me (DK/UG 2015, D: Johan Oettinger, Peter Tukei Muhumuza, no dialogue, 12’)
The Goat (SA 2014, D: John Trengove, OV with English subtitles, 13’)

Introduction by Claudia Böhme (University Trier)

Claudia Böhme works as media-ethnologist and actress. Her thesis deals with the establishment of a video film culture and an associated industry in Tanzania and processes of cultural negotiation initiated by that. During several years of field research at Dar es Salaam, she accompanied the work of filmmakers and film institutions. Her lecture will introduce us into the history of African filmmaking and give an overview of diverse regional and national film productions along with their distribution and reception. In addition to that, it will be about new developments and movements of »African Cinema«, trends of trans-nationalisation and about the question of boundaries of reception. Lecture in German language.

30 April, 10pm – Schaubühne Lindenfels
6,5/5,5 (red.) euros // 9/8 (red.) euros for a combined ticket for both screenings

Necktie Youth

(ZA/NL 2015, D: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, A: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, Bonko Khoza, Colleen Balchin, 86’, OV with English subtitles, BluRay)

The suicide of a young woman named Emily, who has streamed her decease live on the internet, is on the mind of a group of mid-twenties. No matter if white or black, nobody can escape from the feeling of one’s own insignificance. Director Sibs Shongwe-La Mer knows what he is talking about: his script and characters are inspired by his own biography and the events happening in his immediate environment. In his debut feature, he consistently plays the lead as the young man September, whose best friend Jabz was being with Emily. They all belong to a post-apartheid generation in South Africa, searching for their own place, willing to create their own identity and grandiosely failing in doing so. Rich, middle-class offspring, whose inner solitude and emotional distance is superimposed by coke, parties, image and eccentricity. With the help of toughness and by being real, they are caught up in a vortex devouring any relevant communication on a personal level. They want to be away from the street at all costs, but they are not. They are living in mansions, they are bored in mansions and every once in a while they also hang themselves there. Omnipresent images of poverty and impoverishment are scrutinised in stylish monochrome pictures. They are an inventory from the inside of a maniac world. Despite of all their accusations, a melancholy attachment resonates in them, a regret and a profound wish for change.

30 April, 10 pm – Schaubühne Lindenfels
6,5/5,5 (red.) euros // 9/8 (red.) euros for a combined ticket for both screenings