UNI French Film Festival

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

Cedar Falls, IA 50613

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UNI’s first French Film Festival will be happening virtually during the Spring 2021 semester. In coordination with the Franco-American Cultural Exchange Foundation, the Department of Languages and Literatures will present six French language films (subtitled in English) that you will be able to stream on your computer and discuss via Zoom.

To join the Tuesday night conversations about specific films, just click the "Zoom discussion" link below. Better yet add the following link (the same one for each discussion) to your electronic calendar: https://uni.zoom.us/j/93903504393.


Afrique sur Seine, L’envers du decor, Une Nation est nee, Lamb/Africa on the Seine, L'envers du decor, A Nation Was Born, Lamb

This program of documentary shorts is both a stirring introduction to the Beninese/Senegalese filmmaker considered the first sub-Saharan African film Director and a rich overview of the period of African independence and nation-building. Vieyra’s 1955 essay film Africa on the Seine (co-directed with Mamadou Sarr) begins on the banks of the Niger but moves quickly to Paris, “the capital of Black Africa.” Combining street photography with a poetic voiceover, Vieyra achieves a remarkable portrait of the African diaspora and a forward-looking paean to racial diversity. As the title indicates, the 1961 short A Nation Was Born does nothing less than describe the history and birth of the modern African nation of Senegal. With tremendous economy of means, Vieyra depicts an idyllic pre-colonial land in West Africa, the traumatism of colonialism, and the optimism of the newly independent country. A documentary about the Senegalese national sport of wrestling, Lamb eloquently demonstrates that wrestling here is more than a sport, but a spectacle, a game, and a way of life. Lamb was the first film from Sub-Saharan Africa selected at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1964. L’Envers du décor (1980) is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes record of the shooting of the 1976 feature film Ceddo by Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène, and a crucial lesson in filmmaking and the perspective of the African artist.

Africa on the Seine: (Documentary, French with English subtitles, 21 min., Senegal, 1955)
Lamb: (Documentary, Wolof and French with English subtitles, 18 min., Senegal, 1963)
A Nation was Born: (Documentary, Wolof and French with English subtitles, 25 min., Senegal, 1961)
L’envers du décor: (Documentary, Wolof and French with English subtitles, 25 min., Senegal, 1981

Total runtime: 89 min.

Distributor: African Film Festival, Inc.

Price Range: $120 – $420

Virtual Screening Platform: Vimeo with password-protected link

Director: Paulin Soumanou Vieyra

Cast: Africa on the Seine (Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, Mamadou Sarr, Marpessa Dawn, Annette M’Baye)

Click Here To Register for the Festival (it's free, and you only have to register once no matter how many films you choose to watch). Registering will get you an email a couple days before the screening week with information about how to access films online.

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