University of Rochester

EVENT: Three Films Scheduled for African Video & Film Series This Fall

September 17, 2004

The fall African Video & Film Series, sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, will air three videos that explore the traditional and modern role of African women. The films will be screened at 5 p.m. Wednesdays Sept. 29, Oct. 20, and Nov. 17 in room 314 of Morey Hall on the University of Rochester's River Campus. They are free and open to the public.

The first film, The Life and Times of Sara Baartman (1998), traces the life of a Khoi Khoi woman taken from her native South African home and paraded across Europe as an object of British popular culture and French scientific and medical research. Through a variety of mediums such as cartoons and historical drawings, the film for Sept. 29 seeks to dismantle the social, political, scientific, and philosophical beliefs that metamorphosed Sara into an icon of African female sexuality.

Set for Oct. 20, Faat Kine (2000) is an analysis of the interaction of gender, economics, and power in modern Africa. This analysis takes root in the life and story of Faat Kine, a gas station operator and single mother of two whose success in the market economy threatens the very foundations of the male-dominated Senegalese society. In director Ousmane Sembene's own words, Faat Kine is a "tribute to the everyday heroism of African women."

The final film, Finzan (1990), addresses the rebellions of two Malians against two traditional practices: wife inheritance and female genital mutilation. Similar to Sembene's film, Finzan powerfully articulates through the interplay of traditional and secular beliefs and practices the many forces that oppress and dehumanize African women. Finzan has been called director Cheick Oumar Sissoko's cry for African women's emancipation.,/p>

For more information on the series, contact Dior Konate at (585) 275-5345 or check the institute's Web site at