New Releases

New Releases – May 2018

by Camilla Nielsson, 104 min with 46 min of extras, 2015

In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s contentious 2008 presidential win, Zimbabwe convened a bipartisan constitutional committee in an effort to transition the country away from its corrupt authoritarian leadership. Filmed over three years with unprecedented access to the two political rivals overseeing the committee, Democrats is a riveting, firsthand account of a country’s fraught first steps towards democracy. Read more Read More

Colours of the AlphabetColours of the Alphabet
directed by Alastair Cole, produced by Nick Higgins, 80 min, 2016

Does the future have to be in English? Following three children and their families over two school terms, this lyrical and beautifully-filmed documentary is an eye-opening tale of the relationship between children and language from those first apprehensive days at school to the playground excitement at the end of term. Read more Read More

Posted on May 22nd, 2018 in New Releases

New Releases – April 2018

Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and CameraHeadhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera
by Michele Westmorland, 76 min, 2017

Headhunt Revisited retraces the journey of artist Caroline Mytinger, who in the late 1920s crossed the Pacific on a quest to paint portraits of the indigenous people of Melanesia. In 2005, photographer Michele Westmorland set out to retrace Caroline’s journey, and reconnect with the descendants of the individuals portrayed in her paintings. Read more Read More

The Redfern StoryThe Redfern Story
by Darlene Johnson, color, 60 min, 2014

The Redfern Story documents the crucial work of a group of Redfern activists who used theatre to bring the fight for indigenous rights to the larger public in Australia. The film combines interviews with community activists, archival news, and performance footage to offer a historically rich look at the emerging Australian indigenous rights movement in the 1970s. Read more Read More

Posted on April 23rd, 2018 in New Releases

New Releases – March 2018

Changa RevisitedChanga Revisited
by by Peter Biella and Leonard Kamerling, color, 61 min, 2016

Changa Revisited is the story of Tanzania Maasai elder Toreto ole Koisenge and his family, seen from two points in time across a thirty year divide. The film draws on hundreds of photographs and audio recordings made in 1980 by Peter Biella and Richard Cross. These images and sounds, woven with contemporary video footage, create a deeply personal portrait of a family’s life unfolding through decades of tumultuous change. Read more Read More

Good Luck SoupGood Luck Soup
by Matthew Hashiguchi, color, 57 min, 2017

In Good Luck Soup, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi uses interviews, personal home movies, and thoughtful narration to show us what it was like to grow up mixed race in a predominantly white Midwestern neighborhood, where it wasn’t always welcoming or accepting, and how he came to accept his multi-racial identity, family and heritage through the guidance of his grandmother. Read more Read More

Posted on March 1st, 2018 in New Releases

New Releases – February 2018 – Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra Series

Jazz Cosmopolitanism In Accra Series by Steven Feld

Five one-hour video collaborative documentaries (two with additional shorts) reveal the Ghanaian capital’s resonances with jazz histories, styles, and performance practices ranging from New Orleans to bebop and the avant-garde. The films feature famed percussionist Guy Warren/Ghanaba, multi-instrumentalist, afrifone inventor, and sound sculptor Nii Noi Nortey, percussionist and guitarist Nii Otoo Annan, the horn honking La Drivers Union Por Por Group, and master puppeteer J.C. Abbey. The Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra films series, alone or joined by the companion book and CD series of the same title, convey a sense of diasporic intimacy and musical cosmopolitanism in Ghana. Read more Read More

azz Cosmopolitanism in Accra SeriesHallelujah
by Steven Feld, 60 min, 2009

This film presents an African talking drums version of Georg Friedrich Händel’s Hallelujah chorus, as staged and performed by legendary drummer Ghanaba together with the Winneba Youth Choir. Ghanaba’s unique approach to Händel mixes elements of African, Christian, and Islamic ritual with formal European concert performance, Ghanaian ceremony, and improvisation. Read more Read More

Accra Trane StationAccra Trane Station: The Music and Art of Nii Noi Nortey
by Steven Feld, 60 min with 18 min extra, 2009

This documentary distills three years of video conversations with Nii Noi Nortey, the Ghanaian sculptor, instrument inventor, and avant-garde instrumentalist. Nortey discusses the African legacy of John Coltrane, and how it inspired invention of his “afrifone” instruments, and a series of twenty Accra Trane Station sculptures and four CD recordings. Read more Read More

A Por Por Funeral for AshirifieA Por Por Funeral for Ashirifie
by Steven Feld, 60 min, 2009

Por Por music (pronounced “paw paw”) is named for the honking sound of antique squeeze-bulb car horns, ubiquitous on the wooden lorries of Ghana’s early transport history. After electric horns arrived in West Africa a union of bus and truck drivers in the Accra township of La kept the por por horn and invented a jazzy honking. The La drivers only perform Por Por at funerals of their fellow union transport workers. Read more Read More

The Story of Por PorThe Story of Por Por
by Steven Feld and Nii Yemo Nunu, 60 min with 20 min extra, 2013

After electric horns arrived in West Africa, honk horns virtually disappeared. But a union of bus and truck drivers in the Accra township of La kept the por por horns and invented a jazzy honking music adding bells, drums, and voices. The La drivers only perform this Por Por at funerals of their fellow union transport workers. This film documents the origins and performance of this music. Read more Read More

J.C. Abbey, Ghana's PuppeteerJ.C. Abbey, Ghana’s Puppeteer
by Steven Feld and Anyaa Arts Kollektif, 55 min, 2016

This film documents an exceptional fifty-year artistic career, from Accra’s streets to Ghana’s villages to international TV. In fifteen delightful puppet shows, Mr. Abbey is joined by musicians Nii Noi Nortey and NiiOtoo Annan and filmmakers Nii Yemo Nunu and Steven Feld to chronicle Ghana’s music since independence in 1957. The marionettes perform ethnic songs, dances and stories. Read more Read More

Posted on February 1st, 2018 in New Releases

New Releases – January 2018

Banjo RomantikaBanjo Romantika
by Shara K. Lange & Lee Bidgood, color, 56 min, 2015

Banjo Romantika follows Czech musicians who play a unique version of American Bluegrass, melding the political past and present into a lively musical tradition. In this film, ethnomusicologist Lee Bidgood explores the genre’s fascinating history with musicians in the Czech Republic, and performs original Czech Bluegrass songs at renowned venue, The Down Home, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Read more Read More

Posted on January 14th, 2018 in New Releases

New Releases – October 2017

A Snake Gives Birth to a SnakeA Snake Gives Birth to a Snake
Michael Lessac, color, 101 min, 2014

A diverse group of South African actors tours the war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia to share their country’s experiment with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must once again confront their homeland’s violent past, and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness. Read more Read More

Posted on October 30th, 2017 in New Releases

New Releases – September 2017

Out of the Maya TombsOut of the Maya Tombs
David Lebrun, color, 96/54 min with 46 min of extras, 2017

Over the past 50 years, thousands of exquisitely painted Maya vases, almost all looted from royal tombs, have flooded into the world’s public and private collections. Out of the Maya Tombs enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of Maya art. Read more Read More

Posted on September 30th, 2017 in New Releases

New Releases – August 2017

Transnational Fiesta: Twenty Years LaterTransnational Fiesta: Twenty Years Later
directed by Wilton Martinez, produced by Wilton Martinez and Paul H. Gelles, color, 82 min, 2014

A new look at the Andean migrant family and community in the U.S. first documented in Transnational Fiesta: 1992. The new film follows the Quispe-Abril family as they travel back to Peru to celebrate the annual patron saint fiesta of Cabanaconde that they first sponsored two decades earlier, and also participate in the impressive diaspora version of the fiesta in Maryland. Read more Read More

Transnational Fiesta: 1”992 width=Transnational Fiesta: 1992
directed by Wilton Martinez, produced by Wilton Martinez and Paul H. Gelles, color, 60 min, 1993

Transnational Fiesta: 1992 explores the multicultural and transnational experiences of a family of Peruvian Andean immigrants living in Washington, D.C. It documents their lives there and accompanies them as they return to their hometown to sponsor the annual patron saint fiesta. Read more Read More

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 in New Releases

New Releases – July 2017

in-my-mothers-houseIn My Mother’s House
by Lina Fruzzetti and Ákos Östör, color, 82 min, 2016

In 2005, anthropologist and filmmaker Lina Fruzzetti receives a startling email that read, “If this is your father, we are cousins.” There follows a decade-long quest to learn more about her Italian father who died young in Italian ruled Eritrea and her Eritrean mother who does not dwell on the past. Read more Read More

Posted on July 28th, 2017 in New Releases

New Releases – June 2017

by Bahman Kiarostami, produced by Leyla Fakhr, color, 54 min, 2015

Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian first garnered attention in the 1970s when she pioneered contemporary forms of geometric mirror works in a unique artistic language informed by traditional Iranian craft and architecture. Formative years spent in New York in the 1940s and 50s and ongoing conversations with some of the 20th century’s most experimental artists were also part of her artistic universe. Read more Read More

Posted on June 30th, 2017 in New Releases

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