The African Diaspora Film Festival (ADIFF) presents its Black Europe Film Series, to take place July 28-30, 2017, at Teachers College, Columbia University (525 West 120th Street) New York, New York. [Please note: Government picture ID required to enter the building.] Films that include Caribbean-related content are Papa’s Song (The Colors of Curaçao), Time and Judgement, and Mariannes Noires. Here are their descriptions, followed by the full schedule at a glance.
PAPA’S SONG (Directed by Sander Francken, Netherland/Curacao, 1999, Romantic Thriller, 95 min, in Dutch and Papamiento with English subtitles.) Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 7pm
Papa’s Song is a drama of domestic tension and cross-cultural misunderstanding. Nico Verema (Rene van Asten), a decorous, somewhat gloomy Dutch magistrate, lives happily with his wife, Shirley (Roman Vrede), who is from Curacao. Shirley’s two young nephews, in the Netherlands to escape a bad situation at home, complete the household. Its atmosphere of calm bourgeois propriety is soon upended by the arrival of the boys’ mother, Magda (Lisette Merenciana). Shirley and Magda relationship is very stormy: they careen from screaming recrimination to tearful tenderness. Nico tries to mediate and soothe, but when Shirley, who cannot bear children, demands that he impregnate her sister, the good judge finds himself entangled in an intergenerational, trans-Atlantic web of family dysfunction. “Papa’s Song” touches on a number of fascinating and difficult themes, including the state of race relations in the contemporary Netherlands. A. O. Scott, NY Times.
TIME AND JUDGEMENT (Directed by Menelik Shabazz, UK, 1988, 84 min, in English.) Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Time and Judgement is an overview of the African Liberation Movement that spans a period of 400 hundred years. The film narrates the tribulations and successes of people of African descent in and out of Africa with a special focus on the struggles of the last century. Through extensive footage of the movement in the Caribbean, Africa, America and Europe, the viewer is exposed to the critical political analysis of leaders such as: Maurice Bishop of Grenada, Walter Rodney of Guyana, Jessie Jackson, Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael) and Louis Farrakhan of the USA, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey of Jamaica, and more. Through the creative use of various art forms including theater, poetry, songs and art, Time and Judgement establishes a connection between a biblical prophecy with the times we are living in, leading toward the final confrontation between the heart and money – the heart symbolizing love and life, and money symbolizing greed and lust for power.
MARIANNES NOIRES & Q&A (Directed by Mame-Fatou Niang & Kaytie Nielsen, USA/France, 2016, Documentary, 83 min, in French with English subtitles.) Sunday, July 30, 2017 @ 5:30pm
Recent violence and growing nationalism in France have brought fierce debates about the country’s identity to the forefront. In Mariannes Noires, seven different French-born women of African descent confront their own unique identities and challenge the expectations of French society. While some came from great privilege, and others came from nothing at all, they each have attained a high level of success and influence, which they use to increase visibility for Black women in France. However, despite their power, their achievements, and their leadership, and no matter their class background or ancestral heritage, they all survive systemic inequality. In this documentary, they take us through their battles and retrace their most grueling paths in order to understand the social confines that have affected them professionally, psychologically, and emotionally. They share their ideas and solutions to France’s most daunting issues at the heavy intersection of racism and misogyny, and they bravely lead the way forward.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Directors Mame-Fatou Niang. Refreshments will be served after the screening.
Additional description (from Afropunk): The African diaspora reaches to every corner of the earth and in the Western world Black identity is often formed within the context of white supremacy, white nationalism, and white majorities. For Black people learning, growing and living in France, the intersections of race, class, immigration, and nationality all color their upbringing and everyday lives and new film “Mariannes Noires” aims to dive headfirst into these experiences. Directors Mame-Fatou Niang and Kaytie Nielsen follow seven French woman of African and Caribbean origins of various professions and try to extract what binds them beyond their Blackness. They are dancers, entrepreneurs or intellectuals, and as they share their worlds with the camera, a commonality emerges and it is that as much as these women are Black, they are grounded, proud, and unequivocally French. Their Frenchness is rooted in cultural and aesthetic differences, roots that their country is still grappling with and is slow to accept. “Mariannes Noires” is a mosaic of seven narratives that raise the veil on multicultural France. The documentary covers topics ranging from family, the importance of hair and beauty, entrepreneurship, to the access of minorities to means of economic and cultural production.
BLACK EUROPE FILM SERIES
Friday, July 28
7pm – Papa’s Song
Saturday, July 29
2pm – Waalo Fendo
3:30pm – Otomo
5:30pm – Gurumbe
7:30pm – Time & Judgment
Sunday, July 30
1pm – Night of Destiny
5:30pm – Mariannes Noires – Q&A