Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts (Women with Open Eyes)

Dir: Anne-Laure Folly

Togo/France/1994/52 mins/French/Local languages with English subtitles

In Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts, award-winning Togolese filmmaker, Anne-Laure Folly presents portraits of contemporary African women from four West African nations: Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin. The film shows how African women are speaking out and organizing around five key issues: marital rights, reproductive health, female genital mutilation, women’s role in the economy and political rights. It has screened to enthusiastic women’s audiences across West Africa, reinforcing their demands for a place at the center of the development process. African American feminist Alice Walker said of the film: “It takes courage to see the true condition of women in the world and to speak out about it. Courage and a strong stomach. The women in this film possess the necessary radical vision that neither romanticizes nor renders remote the obvious consequences of female enslavement.”

Bawso, Clarence House, Clarence Rd, CF10 5FB: 30th  November from 1800

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Dir. Alastair Cole

Zambia/2016/80mins/English, Nyanja and Bemba with English subtitles/PG

Colours of the Alphabet tells the story of three Zambian children and their families over two school terms, and asks the question: does the future have to be in English?

A lyrical, beautifully-filmed documentary which spends 9 months in a Zambian village grade one class – from the rains of January till the cold of August – as the children, and their parents, come to terms with the often bemusing reality of education in their country. A country where there are 72 ethnic languages spoken, however, you are told that to get ahead means understanding the world in the country’s only official language – English. Despite less than 2% of Zambians using the language in their daily lives.

An often humous, yet inspiring, bittersweet documentary about childhood innocence, language and national identity, with multi-coloured subtitles reflecting the different languages being spoken.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre: 2nd November from 1800 Book Tickets!



Dir: Alain Gomis

France | Belgium | Senegal | Germany | Lebanon/2017/ 123 mins/Lingala/French

Félicité is a proud and independent woman who works as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. Whenever she goes on stage, she appears to leave the world and her everyday worries behind. Her audiences are quickly infected by the rhythm of her music and her powerful, melancholy melodies. When Félicité’s son has a terrible accident she desperately tries to raise the money needed for his operation. Barfly Tabu offers to help. Félicité’s sparsely furnished flat with its permanently defunct fridge becomes a mini utopia in a country that holds no hope for most of its population. The trio forms an eccentric community thrown together by fate, each of whom is free to go their separate ways together.

“Evolves into something far more sensually complex than it initially seems….the film’s jangling, diverse musical soundtrack practically functions as a screenplay in itself… unruly, occasionally rapturous film” Hollywood Reporter

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Dir: Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp

Swaziland/Qatar/USA/2017/77 mins/English

A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character’s journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of collective storytelling.

“The beautifully crafted film… is a spirited testament to the power of creativity — not only as a source of strength and joy, but as a way to access buried emotions. The kids conjure a world of danger and enchantment.” Hollywood Reporter

Taliesin Arts Centre: 23rd October from 1700 Book Tickets!

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Dir: Mandla Walter Dube

South Africa/2016/Drama film/Thriller/100 mins/English

Kalushi is a true story about Solomon Mahlangu, a 19-year-old hawker from the streets of Mamelodi, a ghetto township outside Pretoria, South Africa. After being brutally beaten by police during the 1976 Soweto uprisings, he goes into exile and joins the liberation movement; a series of violent events lead Mahlangu on a journey that culminates in his being forced to stand trial for his life, using the courtroom as his final battlefield. A hero of the struggle against apartheid, Mahlangu would become an international icon of South Africa’s liberation.

Pontio Arts Centre: 28th October from 1800 Book Tickets!


Dir: Hala Khalil

Egypt/2016/122 mins/Arabic

Nawara works as a housemaid in the home of Ossama Bey and his family, who are closely linked to the Mubarak regime. As the revolution unfolds, they decide to leave the country temporarily. They give Nawara some money and ask her to look after the house while they are away. Nawara calls her fiancé Mustafa and tells him to find a house, now that she can afford it and takes to living in her employers’ villas as though she were the owner and discover the pleasures and pitfalls what it’s like to live like the rich at a dangerous time in the country’s history.

 “Hala Khalil … one of the bright new voices in Egyptian cinema, brings her light touch with social drama and keen feeling for women’s problems to Nawara.” Hollywood Reporter

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Dir: Rungano Nyoni

Zambia/UK/France/2017/90 mins/ English

Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp in the middle of a desert. At the camp she takes part in an initiation ceremony where she is shown the rules surrounding her new life as a witch. Like the other residents, Shula is tied to a ribbon which is attached to a coil that perches in a large tree. She is told that should she ever cut the ribbon, she’ll be cursed and transformed into a goat.

Pontio Arts Centre: 28th October from 2015 Book Tickets!