Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu
August Winds, BAMCinematek, FilmAfrica, DanceAfrica
August Winds by Gabriel Mascaro

Beginning Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25, BAMcinématek presents FilmAfrica, the cinematic companion to BAMs 38th annual DanceAfrica.

Presented in association with the New York African Film Festival, this year’s festival will showcase films from South Africa, Mali, Egypt, and beyond, with a special focus on Brazil, one of the most culturally rich and ethnically diverse countries in the world, and the transatlantic roots of the country’s vibrant music, film, and dance traditions.

One of the film’s major subjects is mixed-media artist Brett Murray, whose controversial work The Spear provides an incendiary focal point. Ringbom will appear in person for a Q&A following the screening. The festival also boasts a pair of features by Brazilian filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro: Housemaids (2012—May 23), a meditation on race and class in which seven teenagers turn the camera on their families’ maids, and Ventos de Agosto (August Winds, 2014—May 25), a wandering, atmospheric film following a seaside couple who have a lot to contemplate when a dead body washes up on their shore.

Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu
Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu

Other highlights include a special screening in 35mm of Marcel Camus’ landmark Black Orpheus(1959—May 24), a re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth in the favelas over Rio, and winner of the 1960 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film; Malian master Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu (2014—May 23), a “breathtakingly beautiful” (The New York Times) film about a family who find themselves at the mercy of Islamic extremists; Winter of Discontent (2012—May 25), Ibrahim El Batout’s “fascinating insight into state oppression” (The Guardian) set against the Tahrir Square protests in 2011; and a Shorts Program (May 22) comprising four films with broad-ranging themes from pregnancy to addiction to familial bonds.

Michel Ocelot’s fantastical folktale adaptation Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998—May 24) also screens as a BAMkids Movie Matinee, and features music by Senegalese icon and frequent BAM performer Youssou N’Dour.

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