Wednesday, 16 October 2019

DOCUMENTARIES ILLUMINATE AFRICA’S PAST AND PRESENT


By Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 16 October 2019)

The 7th Human Rights Watch Film Festival has been running all this week with only one more day and two more film remaining to see.
After watching three remarkable documentary films since Tuesday, all of which have relevance in their addressing current issues and social injustices on the African continent, the last two continue in the same vein. Only they both take the form of fiction which is set against the backdrops of civil wars.
Today from 6:30pm the festival will shift from CBD to Kibera and Anno’s One Fine Day (next to Olympic Primary School). ‘The Plight’ and ‘Struggle for Family’ will both expose the pains of war from a deeply personal perspective.
Fortunately, once the Festival is done, Alliance Francaise will again play host this coming week to four more documentary films.
‘Slavery Routes’ is actually one documentary split into four parts, two of which will be shown on Monday and the other two the following day. Created out of a UNESCO ‘Slave Route Project’ with support from a slew of other international agencies, the series traces the history of the slave trade from the fifth century up to the late nineteenth century.
Based on extensive historical research, and directed by Daniel Cattier, Juan Gelas and Fanny Glissant, the project involved both European and African historians as researchers and consultants.
One of them is Professor Samuel Nyanchogo who’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the Catholic University of East Africa. He will lead discussions following the films together with Emeritus Professor Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, from University of Paris-Diderot.
The first film with trace slave trade routes between 476 to 1375; the second, from 1375 through 1620 and the latter two from 1620 to 1888.











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