Africa in Motion 2014: A journey through time and space

ReelScotland 1 October, 2014 0
Africa in Motion 2014: A journey through time and space

This is a sponsored post by Africa in Motion

Buckle your seatbelts for a journey through time and space with Africa in Motion 2014, as Justine Atkinson writes.

The ninth edition of the Africa in Motion Film Festival will return to Edinburgh and Glasgow from 24 October to 9 November, warming up your winter with the vibrancy of African cinema. This year we are very excited to bring to Scotland a captivating array of African cinema, with an assortment of genres, strands and themes, neatly encapsulating the bursting talent and creativity emanating from the continent.

Film has the magical ability to open windows and cast light into other worlds, it gives rise to voices preciously unheard and fills our senses with colours, and tastes of cultures different to our own. Our theme this year, ‘Looking back, reaching forward’, draws inspiration from the Adinkra symbol of the Sankofa bird, which means ‘reach back and get it’, and using this AiM 2014 will take Scottish audiences on a journey through Africa, looking at retrospectives of the past and exploring the present and future of Africa through film.

Drawing inspiration from this theme, we will screen lost African classics including the unique South African 1928 silent film Siliva the Zula. This film portrays Zulu culture through traditional ritual, folklore and witchcraft and is accompanied with an exquisite live musical score composed by Nigerian musician Juwon Ogunbe – needless to say this is certainly an unmissable event.

Then zipping through to the future – but not forgetting the past – we will host an African Sci-Fi strand in partnership with the BFI and Glasgow Film Theatre. By exploring notions of Africa through time and space, we will travel by spaceship to the moon, as Afronauts tells an alternative historical account of the 1960s space race; to a paradisiacal Zanzibari island, where a gigantic fish could change the future of the two men with big island dreams, in Jonah; to Robots of Brixton, which metaphorical commentary on the 1981 Brixton riots, in which robots symbolise the mechanical population of Brixton.

This year marks the 20th year of democracy and freedom in South Africa, and to celebrate we have also programmed a strand of South African films, events and discussions. Through film, music and live performance we will reflect on the role resistance movements played in the struggle for freedom in South Africa, the great achievements made since 1994, and also the continued struggles for peace, democracy, equality and freedom.

As part of this strand we will screen the critically acclaimed film, Come Back, Africa, which is a remarkable piece of cinema exposing the horrific systems of apartheid put in place during the 1950s. It features the young Miriam Makeba and provides a jarring view of seldom seen injustices of apartheid, and captures the true thrust of the iron fist of apartheid.

These stories from the repressive apartheid years are juxtaposed against a free, contemporary South Africa, with films made by the born free generation who are gently releasing themselves from the shackles of the past. We will explore the cultural landscape of modern South Africa through the first dance fiction film to emerge from the continent, Hear Me Move, and also the documentary, Future Sounds of Mzansi, directed by performance artist Spoek Mathambo looking at the infectious beat of the South African electronic music scene.

There is also a plethora of additional and complementary events including Township cafes, live music and performances, and films from across the continent – this is certainly a festival not be missed!

Visit the Africa in Motion website, follow the festival on Twitter and find them on Facebook.