Free Owsley Sunday Film
Directed by Moustapha Alassane
This final program begins with the delightful animated film Kokoa. The festive citizens of the Kingdom of Frogs, crowd into an arena to watch their warrior engage in hand-to-hand combat for the opportunity to see Tountia and her musicans perform an enchanting concert. (2001, 16mm, 14 minutes). In Bon Voyage Sim, the president of the Republic of Toads receives a scoundrel’s welcome from his citizens after retuning from a luxury holiday abroad (1966, 16mm, 5 minutes). The program ends with F.V.V.A. Ali is a modest clerical worker who becomes obsessed with the trappings of earthly success: a woman, a house, a car, and money. As his finances grow ever more precarious, he seeks the guidance of a crafty marabout and turns to a life of crime (1972, 16mm, 68 minutes).
Moustapha Alassane: Father of African Cinema
This touring series organized by Amelie Garrin Davet of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, features animation and live-action films created by one of the pioneering Nigerien filmmaker Moustapha Alassane. Alassane’s career spanned four decades, and his work reflects the political climate of his time, often critiquing both European colonialism and local corruption. This series is but a sample of his diverse output, which ranged from animation and narrative films to ethnographic works, and reflected the influence of such filmmakers as Jean Rouch and Norman McLaren.
This tour premiered at MoMA in May with stops at Wexner Center for the Arts and International House in Philadelphia. All films are 16mm in French with English subtitles.
Organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York with support from the Cinémathèque Afrique of the Institut Français, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.