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Nov 716

NOV 716

MAISON FRANÇAISE EAST GALLERY, BUELL HALL & LENFEST CENTER FOR THE ARTS, KATHARINA OTTO-BERNSTEIN SCREENING ROOM

Blackness in French and Francophone Film

   MAISON FRANÇAISE EAST GALLERY, BUELL HALL & LENFEST CENTER FOR THE ARTS, KATHARINA OTTO-BERNSTEIN SCREENING ROOM

Film Series:

Blackness in French and Francophone Film

A Film Series Presented by the Columbia Maison Française, co-sponsored by School of the Arts and curated by Nora Philippe with the participation of Maboula Soumahoro

Films are free and open to the public. Subtitles are in English.

France doesn’t have an equivalent word for speaking about “blackness” and has just removed the word “race” from its Constitution. However, a new generation of black French women directors is creating documentaries, news reports, and fiction films about the black experience in all its plurality, from more recent immigration of Africans to France, to intimate searches for genealogical identity in the Caribbean, to feminist and political struggles in today’s troubled times.  Around a selection of films directed by award-winning artists of African descent, this series will explore experiences of mostly female subjects and characters in France, but also in French-speaking Africa and in the diaspora, in the U.S. and the Caribbean. This film series includes a classic film by Ousmane Sembène (Black Girl) and many recent ones, some being shown for the first time in the U.S. Five women directors are travelling from France to be present for the series, and screenings will be followed by discussions with the director, an invited scholar from Columbia, and curator Nora Philippe or special guest moderator Maboula Soumahoro. The selected films and discussions to follow focus on the articulation between film creation and political engagement. “Ouvrir la voix,” as Amandine Gay’s film title says: a pun which means both “speaking up” and “paving the way” – may surely be the motto of this series.

Screenings take place as indicated at the Columbia Maison Française, Buell Hall, 116th Street and Broadway, and at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room, Broadway and 129th Street.  This film series is presented in connection with an exhibition at the Wallach Gallery, Posing Modernity: the Black Model from Matisse to Today, opening October 24, 2018.

Columbia University co-sponsors of Blackness in French and Francophone Film: Maison Française; School of the Arts; Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality; Institute for African Studies; Columbia Global Centers/Paris; European Institute; IRAAS (Institute for Research in African-American Studies); Teachers College Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs; and Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Film series presented with support from the Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, la Scam, and the Knapp Family Foundation.

FEATURED FILMS

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 6:30 P.M.
Steps to Liberty (Les Marches de la liberté)
Rokhaya Diallo, 2013, 52 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by a discussion with Fredrick Harris, Nora Philippe and Maboula Soumahoro

Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

Fifty years after the Civil Rights March in Washington DC and the “dream” of Martin Luther King, thirty years after the “March for Equality and against Racism” in France, Diallo follows a group of young Americans who come to France to examine the issues of race, diversity, human rights, through meetings with political personalities, expat African Americans, and local community activists.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 6:30 P.M.
Black Girl (La Noire de...)
Ousmane Sembène, 1966, 65 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by a conversation with Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Mamadou Diouf, and Maboula Soumahoro
Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

A young Senegalese woman moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally. The film offers a layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 4:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.
Master Class by Director Amandine Gay: "A Child of Mine" on International Adoption
More information and RSVP
After her master class, Amandine Gay will be joined in conversation by Nora Philippe
Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

For this master class, Amandine Gay will be talking about her work on her next film project on international adoption, a phenomenon that is rarely spoken about by those who have experienced it personally, as she has. “Reclaiming the narrative” is the idea that guides Amandine Gay, who was born to an unknown mother (“née sous X” in French), a black baby adopted and raised by a rural white French family.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2:00 P.M.
Speak Up (Ouvrir la voix)
Amandine Gay, 2017, 122 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by a Q&A with Amandine Gay, Farah Griffin and Maboula Soumahoro
Event location: Lenfest Center for the Arts, Katharina Otto-Bernstein
Screening Room, 129th and Broadway

What does it mean to be a black woman in francophone Europe today? Rather than turning to “expert” sociologists, Afro-feminist filmmaker Amandine Gay renews the art of the interview and lets her subjects speak for themselves: black women with roots in Europe’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 6:00 P.M.
Towards Tenderness (Vers la tendresse)
Alice Diop, 2016, 38 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by Q&A with director Alice Diop, Brent Edwards and Maboula Soumahoro 
Event location: Lenfest Center for the Arts, Katharina Otto-Bernstein
Screening Room, 129th and Broadway

Alice Diop’s short film charts the ragged terrain of masculinity as it follows a band of young men pacing through a modern city, acting in the way society and their friends expect “men” to act. Their interior monologues, however, reveal other desires. For the director, “We do not listen enough to men on this subject.”

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 6:30 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.
Master Class with Director Alice Diop and screening of On Call (La Permanence)
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
After her master class, Alice Diop will be joined in conversation by Nora Philippe
Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

Alice Diop's master class: "Us" (Nous), 6:30 - 8:30 P.M.
Route 66 has inspired a number of films.  Not so for the RER B, the suburban train line opened in 1977 that crosses the greater Paris region from poorer communes on the east such as Seine-St.-Denis to wealthier small towns on the western outskirts, carrying more than a million passengers every year. The RER B is the subject of Alice Diop’s next film, and it’s a train line she knows well, having grown up in Seine-St.-Denis.

After her master class, we will be screening Alice Diop's film On Call / La Permanence (2016, 90 min.) at 8:30 P.M.
We are in the service of the free medical center at Avicenne Hospital in Bobigny. Assisted by a psychiatrist, the general practitioner often speaks in English, trying, under no illusion, to repair bodies and minds. How are these beaten, starving, traumatized people to be helped using medicine’s inadequate means?

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 6:30 P.M.
SHORT FILM SERIES: Like Dolls, I'll Rise (Nora Philippe), Le bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux (Josza Anjembe) and Les Indes Galantes (Clément Cogitore)
More information and RSVP
View the trailers for Like Dolls, I'll Rise and Le bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux; and the director's interview for Les Indes Galantes
Screening followed by Q&A with Nora Philippe and Patricia Williams
Event location: Lenfest Center for the Arts, Katharina Otto-Bernstein
Screening Room, 129th and Broadway

Like Dolls, I'll Rise is a film by Nora Philippe that breathes life into rag dolls made by anonymous Afro-American women in the 19th and early 20th centuries for their own children or for the white children they were looking after. In Le bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux (2016, 20 min.) Josza Anjembe protrays a teenager from Cameroon who is passionate about the history of France, the country where she was born and which she loves deeply. In Les Indes Galantes (The Amorous Indies) (2017, 6 min.), Clément Cogitore created and filmed a performance of "krumping" to Les Indes Galantes, music that was composed for opera-ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau in 1735.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 6:30 P.M.
The Country Upside Down (Le Pays à l'envers)
Sylvaine Dampierre, 2016, 90 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by Q&A with director Sylvaine Dampierre, Kim Hall and Nora Philippe
Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

In this personal journey through the memory of slavery, A Country Upside Down follows Dampierre while she researches the history of her name in Guadeloupe. Her father left the island to study in France, and he surely conveyed to his daughter a sense of heritage and pride – but it takes the help of a local genealogist, thousands of pages of forgotten archives, and a choreographer to understand the intricate history of the Dampierre family.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 6:30 P.M.
Ouaga Girls
Theresa Traore Dahlberg, 2016, 80 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here
Screening followed by Q&A with director Theresa Traore Dahlberg, Abosede George and Nora Philippe
Event location: Maison Française, Buell Hall

A group of young women tweak machines and hammer away at a school for auto mechanics in Ouagadougou in this poetic story about life choices, sisterhood and the endeavor to find one’s own way. In a country with youth unemployment at 52 percent, jobs are a hot issue. This is a feature-film debut and coming-of-age film with warmth, laughter, heartbreak and depth.

- Coda -

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 6:30 P.M.
Rafiki
Wanuri Kahiu, 2018, 82 min.
More information and RSVP
View trailer here.

Kena helps her father John Mwaura run a small convenience store in Nairobi as he campaigns for a local election. Kena lives with her mother, who isn't really on speaking terms with John. Kena starts flirting with Ziki, a neighbourhood girl with colourful hair, who also happens to be the daughter of Peter Okemi, John's political rival. Kena and Ziki have a number of romantic dates, and quickly become very close, but there are tensions about displaying their affection in public because homosexuality is illegal in Kenya.

Blackness in French and Francophone Film