OVID invites you to discover five extraordinary African films from California Newsreel

OVID.tv to release five extraordinary African films
from new content partner California Newsreel:
THIS IS NOLLYWOOD, THUNDERBOLT, EZRA,
AND SO ANGELS DIE and KARMEN GAI

OVID is proud to announce a new partnership with legendary film distributor California Newsreel! Founded in 1968, California Newsreel is a leading distributor of documentary and feature films with a focus on social justice, African American history and a large collection of work on African politics and culture by African directors. Starting Friday, January 29th, OVID will release five extraordinary and diverse African . These films include a look at Nigeria’s thriving indie movie scene, the award-winning story of a child soldier, and a remarkable, banned in Senegal take on Carmen.
Friday, January 29th
Ainsi Meurent Les Anges (And So Angels Die)
A film by Moussa Sene Absa
2001 / California Newsreel / Feature

Ainsi meurent les anges shows how a “dream deferred” can become a nightmare, how a stolen past can make the present impossible and render modernity untenable, how history can become paralyzed. It is a film about the loss of innocence – by an individual and by an entire generation. These lost possibilities, these foregone selves, irrecoverable yet unforgettable, are the angels of the title. They are not the absolute, unhearing angels of Rilke’s Duino Elegies or even the sympathetic onlookers of Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire; they are aspects of ourselves, fragile as human hope.

Tuesday, February 2nd
Ezra
A film by Newton Aduaka
2007 / California Newsreel / Feature Nigeria/France/Austria

Ezra is the first film to give an African perspective on the disturbing phenomenon of abducting child soldiers into the continent’s recent civil wars. It was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2007 Festival Panafricain du Cinema à Ouagadougou (FESPACO), Africa’s largest and most prestigious film event, and was selected for the International Critics Week at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Ezra stands out among other African films as a complex psychological study and a plea for reconciliation..


Karmen Gei
A film by Joseph Gai Ramaka
2001 / California Newsreel / Feature
Senegal

Director Joseph Gaï Ramaka writes: “Carmen is a myth but what does Carmen represent today? Where do Carmen’s love and freedom stand at the onset of the 21st Century? Therein lies my film’s intent, a black Carmen, plunged in the magical and chaotic urbanity of an African city.”

Karmen Geï is the first African Carmen, and, arguably, the first African filmed “musical.” Accordingly, Gaï Ramaka has completely replaced Bizet’s score and the usual staging with indigenous Senegalese music and choreography: Doudou N’Diaye Rose’s sabar drummers, Julien Jouga’s choir, El Hadj Ndiaye’s songs and Yandé Coudou Sène’s prophetic voice. Saxophonist David Murray’s contemporary jazz score runs like a thread of unfulfilled desire through the film.


Tuesday, February 9th
This is Nollywood
A film by Franco Sacchi
2007 / California Newsreel / Documentary
Nigeria

‘In Nigeria, we do not count walls, we figure out ways to climb over them.’ First came Hollywood, then Bollywood, and now Nollywood — Nigeria’s booming film industry, which released two thousand features in 2006 alone. Where else can you shoot a full-length dramatic film for $10,000 in 7 days? 

This is Nollywood explains why Nigerian video production is becoming recognized as a phenomenon with broad implications for the cultural and economic development of Africa. Nollywood films are now widely viewed throughout the African continent and in the African Diaspora. This documentary offers an intimate and accurate portrait of the technical, economic and social infrastructure of the industry.


Thunderbolt
A film by Tunde Kelani
2000 / California Newsreel / Feature
Nigeria

From the burgeoning video industry of Nigeria comes a film that combines melodrama and issues of ethnicity, gender, culture and identity in post-colonial Africa by the country’s veteran filmmaker.

Thunderbolt will come as a bolt out of the blue to most Americans, even aficionados of African cinema. The first half of the film is a loose retelling of the Othello story – except the protagonists are not Abyssinian and Venetian but Yoruba and Ibo. In the second half of the film, a distinctly West African emphasis on the supernatural comes to the fore; curses and ritual cleansing take the place of psychological explanations. ###




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