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African Film Weekend

The African Film Weekend screens new and original African films each fall on the campus of the University of Richmond. It has been running since 2000 as an initiative from African Studies faculty members under the leadership of Professor Louis Tremaine from the Department of English. Since 2012, a component entitled Africa Week comprising lectures and other cultural events has been added.

African Film Weekend celebrates African culture on the continent and the Diaspora through cinema. Faculty, staff, students, and the general public of Richmond have the opportunity to learn about cultures and issues through the best productions Africa can offer in the realm of filmmaking. Film themes vary from year to year.

Support for African Film Weekend comes from the Office of International Education, the Media Resource Center, the International Studies program and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Africa Week 2017

Africa Week Lectures: Urban Culture and the Challenges of Global Security

Space, Vegetation and Community: The Chase of Kinshasa
François Gutu, Université Pédagogique Nationale, Kinshasa, DRC
Wed., Sept. 20, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Carole Weinstein International Center Commons

François Gutu Kia Zimi is associate professor of development economics at the Université Pédagogique Nationale in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. His main area of research is urbanization and the issue of occupancy and vegetation; he has published five books on the subject. 

We Are Not Birds: Globalization and Land Dispossession in Tanzania
Dr. Dorothy Hodgson, Rutgers University
Tues., Sept. 26, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Carole Weinstein International Center Commons

Dorothy L. Hodgson is senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Graduate School–New Brunswick and professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. As a historical anthropologist, she has worked in Tanzania for over thirty years on such topics as gender, ethnicity, cultural politics, colonialism, nationalism, modernity, the missionary encounter, transnational organizing, and the indigenous rights movement. Her most recent book is Gender, Justice and the Problem of Culture: From Customary Law to Human Rights in Tanzania.

Busting Myths about China’s Overseas Development Program in Africa With New Data
Bradley Parks, AidData and College of William and Mary
Wed., Oct. 4, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Carole Weinstein International Center Commons

Dr. Bradley Parks is AidData's Executive Director and is on the research faculty of the College of William and Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. He leads a team of 30 program evaluators, policy analysts, and media and communication professionals who are responsible for equipping policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. He is currently writing a book for Cambridge University Press on the upstream motivations for and downstream effects of China’s overseas development program.

13th Annual African Film Weekend: The African Hero

Sept. 29–Oct. 1
Robins School of Business, Ukrop Auditorium
Presenter: Aliko Songolo, University of Wisconsin

Fri., Sept. 29 

3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
I Am Not Your Negro
Haiti & USA, 2016
Raoul Peck, director
93 min.

This Academy Award-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck offers a powerful snapshot of race relations through novelist James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember this House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history.

Sat., Sept. 30

8:20 a.m.
Half of a Yellow Sun
Nigeria & United Kingdom, 2014
Biyi Bandele, director
110 min. 

Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this film tells parallel love stories of twin sisters educated in England, against the backdrop of  Nigeria’s Biafra War triggered by the 1966 military coup. After their education, the sisters return home to Nigeria to start their new lives and while shocking the family with their choice of companions. Olanna moves in with her lover Odenigbo, and Kainene, while taking over the family interests as a businesswoman, brings Richard, a white, English writer, into the family. The focus then turns to the unfolding violence among the Nigerians and highlights the high price in human lives that the establishment of an independent Biafra has unleashed. 

10:50 a.m.
Viva Riva
DR Congo, 2010
Djo Tunda wa Munga, director
99 min., French, Lingala, and English subtitles

Viva is an operator, a man with charm and ambition in equal measure. Kinshasa is an inviting place. With petrol in short supply in DRC's capital, he and his sidekick pursue a plot to get hold of a secret cache—barrels of fuel they can sell for a huge profit. Of course they're not the only ones who want the stuff. Cesar is a ruthless, sharply dressed foreigner thriving in Kinshasa's lawless streets. A female military officer joins the fray. Even the church will betray its tenets for a piece of the action. But Riva's main nemesis is Azor, a crime boss in the classic style: big, decadent and brutal. He's not a man to mess with, but his girlfriend, Nora, may just be the most seductive woman in all of DRC. Riva catches sight of her dancing at a nightclub and it's not long before Nora matches the fuel cache as a coveted object of his lust.

1 p.m.

2:00 p.m. 
The Man Who Mends Women – The Wrath of Hippocrates
Belgium & Congo, 2015
Thierry Michel and Colette Braeckman, Directors
113 min.
French, English, Swahili and Mashi, with English subtitles

This film explores the life and work of internationally renowned gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work takes place in the South Kivu, the epicenter of one of the most vicious civil wars of recent date, where violence against women has become a war weapon. While most of the infrastructure collapsed because of the violence, Mukwege stayed behind to assist women in need. He has medically assisted over 45,000 sexually abused women in about twenty years of professional practice. 

4:15 p.m.
Whose Country?
Egypt, France, United States, 2016
Mohamed Siam, director
60 min.
Arabic and English, with English subtitles

Sun., Oct 1

7:30 p.m.
I Am Not Your Negro
Haiti & USA, 2016
Raoul Peck, Director
93 min.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the African Film Weekend, contact Kasongo Kapanga or John Forsyth at (804) 289-8096