DER Documentary

Movement (R)evolution Africa (a story of an art form in four acts)

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by Joan Frosch, Alla Kovgan
color, 65 min, 2007
in English, French, Wolof, Portuguese, Japanese, Shona, and Lingala
with English subtitles

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Where are the stories of fiercely creative African individuals and what do they have to tell us about their lives? Meet Movement (R)evolution Africa's choreographic trendsetters. Hailing from Senegal to South Africa, the perspectives and creative processes of these dancers and choreographers present fresh images of Africa, and bring to life the continent's contemporary identity. As they juxtapose reflection, rehearsal and performance, the artists open a window onto the emergent choreographic landscape of Africa in the 21st century, and ignite a new understanding of today's Africa and the global society of which we are all a part.

Combining innovative narrative techniques and striking footage of dancers at work in the studio and on stage, Movement (R)evolution Africa explores an astonishing exposition of choreographic fomentation. The choreographers reveal emotionally complex and deeply contemporary expressions of self. Faustin Linyekula, exiled survivor of the Democratic Republic of Congo's eight-year war, muses whether his body his only "true country." Germaine Acogny, mother of Senegalese contemporary dance, exorcises the assassin in herself as she creates a work on the Rwandan genocide. Through her choreography, Ivorian Béatrice Kombé explores love and union in the context of life in a country that has abused the trust of so many of it citizens. Nora Chipaumire excavates her painful Zimbabwean past in the context of a jarring American present. Sello Pesa explores traditions as abstractions, while Madagascar's Ariry Andriamoratsiresy offers new ways to think about the meaning of "African" in "African dance." The Burkinabe choreographers and directors of Kongo Ba Téria, Lacina Coulibaly and Souleyman Badolo, crystallize a riveting response to desertification. Choreographers Rosy Timas and Elisabete Fernandes render comic slices of urban and rural life in Cape Verde while questioning the staging of female sensuality. Renowned African-American choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar engages the viewer in empathy-filled first-hand interactions with the featured African choreographers.

The sum of these artists' stories is a deeply human encounter with creativity that positions African choreographic innovation as a veritable aesthetic revolution. Their stunning choreography and riveting stories challenge stale stereotypes of "traditional Africa" to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.

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“The film is a knockout.” —Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, Jan. 2007
“A revelatory look at African modern dance!” —Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix, April 2007
“...Movement (R)evolution Africa...summates all the riches and frustrations of Africa. Revering the body as a form of fluid sculpture, these fierce artists from across the continent adapt conventional dance to their unique sense of self, hoping to engage with everyone - whites and the African diaspora alike - in order to challenge the West's stereotypical ideas of Africa. Movement is their voice and it screams in the film, "Africa must speak!"” —Ed Gonzalez, Village Voice, April 2007

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Jury Prize Nominee, Dance on Camera Festival, New York, January 5, 2007
Earthdance Film Festival, Northampton, MA, 2007
African Film Festival, New York, 2007
Best Dance Film Award, Cyprus International Film Festival, 2007
The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, Seattle, 2007
Carnegie Theatre, at the National Music Center, Washington DC, 2007
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2007
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, New York, 2007
San Francisco International Arts Festival, 2007
Hollywood Black Film Festival, Beverly Hills, CA, 2007
Festival Kaay Fecc, Dakar, Senegal, 2007
The Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia, 2007
International Arts Festival, Salamanca, Spain, 2007
44th International Television Festival GOLDEN PRAGUE, 2007
San Francisco Black Film Festival, 2007
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 2007
Cinedans Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2007
New York African Film Festival, New York, 2007
Globians Documentary Film Festival, Potsdam, 2007
Pittsburgh Black Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA, 2007
Montreal Film Festival, 2007
Beloit International Film Festival, Wisconsin, 2008
4th TRI Continental Film Festival, India, 2008
Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2008
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, MT, 2008
International Panafrican Film Festival, Cannes, France, 2008
Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa, Spain, 2008
2nd Annual Women of Color International Film Festival, Detroit, MI, 2008
XXIII. Black International Cinema Berlin & Warsaw, 2008
Dance Fesrtival Polemique, Warsaw, Poland, 2008
Festival of New Dance & Nickel Film Festival, St. John, Newfoundland, 2008
Pan African Film Festival, Atlanta, GA, 2008
SLC Film Center, UT, 2008
Ewa Bami'jo/Come Dance With Me Conference, Nigeria, 2008
MiradasDoc Market, Spain, 2008
International Black DocuFest, Atlanta, GA, 2008
Black Filmmaker International Film Festival, London, 2008
African Studies Association Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2009
DanceAfrica Film Festival, New York, 2009
Hampstead & Highgate Film Festival, London, UK, 2010
American Anthropological Association/Society for Visual Anthropology Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2010

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