Free Owsley Sunday Film
Directed by Moustapha Alassane
This program features Aoure, a hybrid of fiction and documentary, in which Alassane chronicles the married life of a young Zharma (ethnic Muslim) couple living in the Niger River Valley (1962, 16mm, 30 minutes). This is paired with The Ring of King Koda (La Bague du Roi Koda). In this Zharma legend, the cruel, despotic King Koda tests the loyalty of one of his subjects, a fisherman named “Finger of God,” by ordering him to safeguard one of his rings for an entire year. Failure to do so will lead to the fisherman’s beheading (1962, 16mm, 24 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.