African Films


DVDs African Languages

Tsotsi / Thug
Director: Gavin Hood
2006 (2005)
A young man running with a criminal gang on the streets of Johannesburg, Tsotsi – a nickname meaning thug – is immersed in a world of violence that seems to leave him unaffected, until he discovers an infant in the backseat of a car he has stolen.. In Tsotsi-Taal (an African language) with English subtitles. 94 min.
Call number: DVD tsot



DVDs with African Cultural Content

Director: Claire Denis
2001 (1988)

A young woman returns to Cameroon to trace her past. Soon the sights, sounds and smells sweep her back to her childhood and memories of the people who populated her youth. 106 min.
Call number: DVD choc


Coup de Torchon
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
2001 (1981)

After Lucien Cordier, the only police officer in a small African village, is ridiculed by the local pimp, cheated on by his wife, and suffers his mistresses being beaten, he begins to get rid of the evil ones in his life. 128 min.
Call number: DVD coup

Hotel Rwanda
Director: Terry George

The deeply moving true story of a five-star-hotel manager who used his wits and words to save more than 1,200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan conflict . 122 min.
Call number: DVD hote

Inch’ Allah Dimanche
Director: Yamina Benguigui

Film about the “family reunion,” the French government’s euphemism for a 1974 law allowing Algerian wives to rejoin their husbands working in France. Strong-willed Zouina parts tearfully from her mother in the port of Algiers; once in France, she and her three small children are at the mercy of her mother-in-law and confused by the strange customs of their local grocer and garden-obsessed neighbor. The radio is her only window on life and on the women of this new country. Based on the novel by Yamina Benguigui. 98 min. In French and Arabic, with French subtitles in some sequences.
Call number: DVD inch

Kirikou and the Sorceress
Director: Michel Ocelot

Based on West African folklore, this is the story of a remarkable baby boy who is born with the ability to speak, amazing intelligence, and physical abilities. Features a musical score by music icon Youssou N’Dour and South Africa’s finest vocal talents. In French. 70 min.
Call number: DVD kiri

Director: Jacques Bidou

Dramatizes the life of Congolese revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, who lead his country to independence from Belgium in 1960. He served, for less than a year, as the first elected prime minister until he was brutally assassinated.
Call number: DVD lumu

Nowhere in Africa / Nirgendwo in Afrika
Director: Caroline Link
2003 (2001)

Spanning two continents, it’s the true tale of a Jewish attorney and his family who flee the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. As the war rages on the other side of the world, his relationships with his wife and daughter become increasingly complicated: they struggle between resisting and embracing their new life, while reaching out to each other. 142 min.
In German; some Swahili.
Call number: DVD nowh


VHS Tapes with African Cultural Content

Africa, I will Pluck You / Afrique, Je Te Plumerai
Director: Jean-Marie Teno

Examines how Cameroon’s French colonizers have been replaced by a dictatorial indigenous regime which still plunders the land and silences the authentic expression of its people. A case study of the devastation of traditional African societies by imposed colonial cultures. In French with English subtitles. 88 mins.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .A37 1992


Battle of Algiers
Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
1993 (1966)

Dramatization of the conflict between Algerian nationalists and French colonialists that culminated in Algeria’s independence in 1962.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .B28 P65 1993

ID / Pieces D’Identites
Director: Mweze Ngangura

A Congolese king searches for his daughter in Brussels where for a time he loses his royal fetishes, his identity, but finds a friend, a local cabdriver with a secret identity. With his help and a chain of odd coincidences, Mani Kongo is reunited with his daughter and his regalia and returns to Africa with a circle of friends. In French with English subtitles. 93 mins.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .P54 1998

Keita: The Heritage of the Griot
Director: Dani Kouyaté

Based on one of the most important works of African oral literature, the Sundjata epic. When a djéliba, a master griot or bard, arrives mysteriously at the home of Mabo Keita to teach him “the meaning of his name,” the boy and griot are inevitably brought into conflict with his Westernized mother and schoolteacher, who have rejected African tradition. The griot reveals to Mabo the story of his distant ancestor, Sundjata Keïta, the 13th century founder of the great Malian trading empire. In Jula and French with English subtitles. 94 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1993.5 .A35 L5355 1994

Rocking Porcupine / Ça Twiste à Poponguine
Director: Moussa Sene Absa

A coming of age story set in a remote Senegalese beachside village during the week before Christmas, 1964, where the local teenage boys are divided into rival cultural camps. The “Ins” (“Inseparables”) style themselves after French pop stars, attend school, have all the girls–but no record player. Their rivals, the “Kings,” style themselves after African-American blues legends, they work as fishermen, don’t have any girls–but they do have a record player. In French with English subtitles. 90 mins.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .C13 1993

Sango Malo
Director: Bassek ba Kobhio

A new high school teacher brings turmoil to a rural Cameroonian village when he introduces sex education and vocational training into the curriculum. He also starts agricultural and marketing cooperatives for villagers that the students work on as part of their education. The local authorities however, including the store owner and school’s headmaster, are alarmed by the teacher’s radical actions and have him imprisoned. In French with English subtitles. 94 mins.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S27 1991