Preface 2018




Dear friends of African film,

This year the African film festival „Augen Blicke Afrika“ is part of a larger program of events that offers a forum to artists and activists belonging to protest movements in the artistic and cultural scenes of African metropoles. Some films of the festival, too, take up the topic of democratization.
This time we are showing a selection of current films from 22 African countries. As always these productions allow and enable an intimate look at the diverse world of African societies.
The documentaries Kinshasa Makambo from Congo and Lendemains Incertains from Burundi show the struggle of young activists against the corrupt elites of their countries from a very personal point of view.
The film Burkinabé Rising does not only tie in with the resignation of longtime president Blaise Compaoré in Burkina Faso, who was forced out of office in 2014 chiefly due to massive youth protests. The film also shows that this success released forces that express themselves in a multitude of artistical and musical projects, which activists use to inform, to mobilize and to advance political change.
Silas documents the tireless fight of an environmental activist against the deforestation of the jungle in Liberia. Silas is challenging corrupt elites, mobilizes the rural population and wants to become actively involved in parliament.
Another environmental topic is taken up by the powerful film Welcome to Sodom. With dramatic images, it visualizes how the waste of our affluence illegally ends up in Ghana. Under worst conditions electrical appliances of any kind are disassembled by men, women and also children on Africa’s largest dumping ground in order to extract recyclable materials like aluminium, zinc, and copper.
But filmmakers also use lighter comedies to draw attention to the desolate conditions in their countries. The Egyptian film Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim is a tumultuous and bizarre trip across Egypt. In Djon África the protagonist Miguel – known as the rapper „Tibars“ – delves into the island world of Cape Verde, in search of his roots and accompanied by light melancholy. With a lot of humor as well as musical accompaniment, the Nigerian film Hakkunde – Welcome to Lagos displays the fight for self-fulfillment and illustrates what it means to belong to the new generation in today’s Nigeria.
The fact that also the historical development of music and musicians in Africa is inconceivable without social and political battles is established in the films Jazzman from Egypt, Sounds of the World: Mauritius, and Manthia Diawara’s An Opera of the World from Mali.
At the opening of the festival on November 1, again we will be able to welcome three directors who are going to be present at the screenings of their films in the following days. The panel discussion on the first Saturday that enlarges upon the festival’s theme „Awakening in Africa“ will carry the heading: Directors Intervene in Political and Everyday Conflict.
As the organizers, we wish our audience a lot of new insights and a relationship with the African continent and its people that is based on curiosity and openness.