Africa in 24 images per second

  • Kino Sputnik Am Bahnhofplatz Liestal, BL, 4410 Switzerland

A film series in Liestal’s Kino Sputnik presents films from six countries that tell present-day stories.

From 18 to 21 June, 2017, Image Afrique will show six feature films from and about Africa in the Kulturhaus Palazzo’s Kino Sputnik. The curator of the film series is Eric van Grasdorff, a political scientist who organized the monthly film series African Reflections in Berlin’s Hackeche Höfe cinemas from 2004 to 2016. Van Grasdorff also managed the German branch of AfricAvenir for many years, which is a politically independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization involved in the field of political education, and dedicated to the production and dissemination of knowledge from an African perspective, both in Africa and in Europe. 

The exclusively contemporary films engage with controversial political and social topics concerning present-day Africa, such as women’s rights, racism and education.

The Tunisian film As I open my eyes from director Leyla Bouzid tells the story of fun-loving Farah who has just finished school and dreams of becoming a musician. It is the summer of 2010, tensions in the country are palpable, the lyrics of Farah’s band catch the attention of the secret service and the singer is soon confronted with the consequences of her music.

In her film Des Etoiles, multi-award winning director Diana Gaye addresses the lives of her protagonists who are in exile in Turin, Dakar and New York, their paths crossing and diverging once again. In her film Gaye presents a current picture of the situation for migrants with all its hardships, hopes and dreams.

The Swiss contribution to the program comes in the form of a comedy, Usgrächnet Gähwilers, a film that plays humorously with the dubious double standards of the Swiss petty bourgeoisie. The screening will take place following a talk with the director Martin Guggisberg.

Program Overview

Sunday, 18 June, 16h
Aya de Yopougon

Sunday, 18 June, 18h
Usgrächnet Gähwilers | The director is present

Monday, 19 June, 18h
La pirogue / Die Piroge

Monday, 19 June, 20:15h
Des étoiles / Unterm Sternenhimmel

Tuesday, 20 June, 20:15h
Ayanda and the Mechanic

Wednesday, 21 June, 20:15h
À peine j’ouvre les yeux / As I open my eyes

Sunday, 18 June, 4pm

Aya de Yopougon | French

Director: Marguerite Abouet, Clément Oubrerie
France, 2013. 84 min, FSK 14, f/d/e
(Animation, Drama, Romance)

Based on the internationally successful six-part comic of the same name by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, this animated film tells the story of a young woman by the name of Aya who lives in Yopougon, a lively neighborhood in Abidjan. Aya tries to resist her father’s strict conservative rule while providing her girlfriends with help and imaginative advice regarding questions of life and love.

A beautifully detailed and original animated film about social differences, patriarchy and emancipation in West African countries like the Côte d’Ivoire. 

The film celebrated successes at international film festivals from Helsinki to Gijón to Tokyo and in 2013 was nominated for the French César Award in the category of best animated feature film.

Sunday, 18 June, 6pm | The director is present

Usgrächnet Gähwilers | Swiss German

Director: Martin Guggisberg
Switzerland, 2016. 91 min, e

Therese and Ralph Gähwiler lead an idyllic, middle-class life in a small Swiss town. Therese whiles away the time with modern art and her dachshund, and Ralph works on achieving his big break in local politics guided by the slogan: competent, decisive, clear. But their nouveau riche neighbors - Ralph’s political ally Peter and his wife Monika - are even more conservative and uptight than the Gähwilers. Therese and Ralph’s life is turned on its head when their African gardener Ngundu hurts himself while at work. He can no longer walk but refuses to go to the hospital under any circumstances. So the Gähwilers have no choice but to keep him in their home - but out of sight.

Monday, 19 June, 6pm

La pirogue / Die Piroge | French/Wolof

Director: Moussa Touré
Senegal, 2012. 87 min, FSK 12, f/d

La Pirogue tells the story of Senegalese fisherman Baye Laye, who reluctantly agrees to take a group of migrants across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands. The thirty men on board the modest motorboat - which is actually built for coastal fishing - have all paid dearly for the crossing and dream of careers as footballers and musicians, or even just of finding a reasonable livelihood in Europe. And so begins the dangerous voyage on the pirogue, which will pose many challenges for them. 
“Touré takes our breath away and brings us into close contact with the cruelty of tragedy.” Hassouna Mansouri, Africiné.

Monday, 19 June, 8.15pm

Des étoiles / Unterm Sternenhimmel | French/English/Italian

Director: Dyana Gaye
France, Belgium, Senegal, 2014. 88 min, FSK 6, d

Set in Turin, Dakar and New York, this film follows the lives of three characters in exile as their paths cross and diverge once again. Over time the patterns of their individual stories repeat themselves - in the diversity of the metropolises they pass through and the things they encounter, their destinies all ultimately converging beneath the same starry sky. Multi-award winning director Diana Gaye escorts her protagonists through the different cities and paints a present-day picture of the emigrant’s experience, with all its hardships, hopes and dreams.

Des Étoiles is tender without being naive. Its vision is all the more remarkable because it manages to approach the topic of international migration without the usual clichés and aggressive staging of news broadcasts.” (Alex Champion, Le JDD)

Tuesday, 20 June, 8.15pm

Ayanda and the Mechanic | Zuu/Sesotho/English

Director: Sara Blecher
South Africa, 2015. 105 min, d
(Drama, Romance)

In a vibrant and diverse neighborhood in Johannesburg, energetic, 21-year-old Ayanda restores old furniture and uses it to make sought-after cult objects. Eight years after the death of her father she is intent on reviving his garage, which is deep in debt and about to be sold. In order to salvage her father’s legacy, Ayanda devises a new business idea: Together with her friend David she will refurbish vintage cars and resell them. The film brims with an energy and style that are characteristic of urban, Afropolitan South Africa.

Ayanda and the Mechanic is a fresh, modern, stylish take on 21st century Africa.” Katie Walsh, LAFF

Wednesday, 21 June, 8.15pm

À peine j’ouvre les yeux / As I open my eyes | Arabic/French

Director: Leyla Bouzid
Tunisia, 2015. 102 min, FSK 14, d/f

Fun-loving Farah has just finished school and sings in a rock band. She dreams of becoming a professional musician, but her parents would rather see her study medicine. Rehearsal rooms and gigs are rare and the young people’s increasingly socio-politically critical lyrics catch the attention of the secret service. But Farah is in love and feels invincible - she sings in bars, enjoys the nightlife in Tunis, while her mother Hayet would rather confine her to the house. It is the summer of 2010, tensions in the country are palpable, and Farah will soon be confronted with the unexpected consequences of her music.

Image Afrique Film Series | 18 - 21 June , 2017
Kino Sputnik, Kulturhaus Palazzo, Am Bahnhofplatz, Liestal