From the Archives: LIGHTS ON AFRICA

A Film Series at the Guggenheim

In 1996, AFF curated “LIGHTS ON AFRICA: A Program of African Film,” for the Solomon R. Guggenheim exhibition Africa: Art of a Continent.

Films from throughout the continent were shown, including selections from Eastern Africa, Portuguese Africa (at the time seldom seen in the United States), and films from the Arab north.

“Recurrent themes such as the status of women in African society, the clash between traditional values and urbanized modernity, and coming of age in terms of political or national consciousness appear in many of the films from a variety of perspectives.

The films in the series offer perspectives on the development of African cinema within the context of both colonialism and political independence.”


The Battle of the Sacred Tree, Wanjiru Kinyanjui (Kenya, 1994)

Mapantsula, Oliver Schmitz (South Africa, 1988)

Neria, Godwin Mawuru (Zimbabwe, 1992)

La Momie/Night of Counting the Years, Chadi Abdel Salam (Egypt, 1970)

Halfaouine (Child of the Terraces), Ferid Bougedir (Tunisia, 1990).

Ousmane Sembène‘s Borom Sarret (Senegal, 1963) and Black Girl (1965)

Touki Bouki, Djibril Diop Mambéty (Senegal, 1973)

Chronicle of the Year of Embers, Muhammad Lukhdar-Hamima (Algeria, 1975)

Fire Eyes, Soraya Mire (Somalia, 1993)

The Silences of the Palace, Moufida Tlatli (Tunisia, 1994)

Finye, Souleymane Cissé (Mali, 1982)

Ta Dona, Adama Drabo (Mali, 1991)

Keita, Dani Kouyate (Burkina Fasso, 1994)

A panel discussion, African Cinema and Post Colonialism, took place on Tuesday, June 18, following an evening screening of Ousmane Sembène‘s Guelwaar (Senegal, 1990).

The discussion focused on major themes involving cinema throughout the continent: the development of African film within the legacies of colonial rule; African cinema’s relationship to African oral traditions; the economic and political factors that control the production and distribution of African film; and the range and categories of African cinema.

In addition, on Wednesday, July 17, following a special evening screening of Ngozi Onwurah’s The Body Beautiful (Nigeria, 1991) and Soraya Mire’s Fire Eyes (Somalia, 1993), Mire took part in a discussion about her films.

Click here to visit the Guggenheim Museum’s archived website for the series.