UMD NFLC Hausa Lessons/43 A New Era of African Films

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Overview

  1. Lesson Title: A New Era of African Films-This is a report about African movies.
  2. Language: Hausa
  3. Topic: Culture/Society
  4. ILR Level: 2+/3
  5. ACTFL Proficiency: Superior, Advanced-High; This ACTFL rating is an approximation based on the ILR level
  6. Modality: Reading
  7. Learning Objective: Maintenance & Improvement
  8. Subject Area: Language
  9. Material Type: LLO
  10. Publication Year: 2009
  11. ObjectID: T8RHA02

Transcript


Original Translation

Bukin nuna finafinan Afirka a Frankfurt

Tun ba yau ba kamfanonin shirya finafinai na Hollywood a Amirka suke tafiyar da hulɗa da ƙasashen Afirka inda tare da haɗin guiwar mashahuran ´yan wasan fim na Afirka aka shirya finafinai da suka yi tashe a wajen nahiyar. To amma duk mai son sanin yadda Afirka kanta ke ganin wannan abin zai sha da ƙyar domin ba a nuna waɗannan finafinan gidajen sinima ba yayin da kuma jama´a ba su san masu haɗa finafinan ba.

Wannan dai wani ɓangare ne na wani fim mai suna Divizionz wanda aka haɗa tare da wata ƙungiyar mawaƙa ta wasu matasa huɗu mawaƙan zamani da suka fito daga wata unguwar marasa galihu dake Kampala babban birnin ƙasar Uganda. Burin waɗannan matasan dai shi ne su shahara ko ta halin ƙaƙa. To sai dai saɓanin wasu wuraren, a Afirka zama mashahuri cikin dare ɗaya abu ne mai wahalar gaske saboda matsaloli iri daban daban kama daga ´yan sanda, tsarin zamantakewa da kuma matsanancin talauci. Wanda ya shirya fim ɗin Adi El Assal ɗan ƙasar Masar ya yi bayani game da fim ɗin na Divizionz yana mai cewa.

“Da wannan fim mun yi ƙoƙarin nuna yadda tsarin zaman jama´a ya ke a ƙasar Uganda. Domin a nan za ka iya ganin bambamcin dake akwai tsakanin matalauta da masu hannu da shuni da sauran abubuwan da ba a rasa ba.”

Shi dai wannan Bamasare mai shirya fim na daga cikin tawagar furodusoshin fim na Afirka da ke halartar bukin nuna finafinan na birnin Frankfurt. Ya ce an shirya wannan fim ne akan abokantaka da buri na rayuwa da kuma abin da zai faru idan abokan juna a yau suka zama abokan gabar juna a gobe.

Wannan fim dai na matsayin wani labari irin ainihin abubuwan dake faruwa a rayuwa ta yau da kullum da kuma kaɗe-kaɗe. Saboda haka yana zama wani abin koyi ga masu sha´awar shirya finafinan zamani na Afirka.

“Mun samu kusanta ƙwarai da gaske da ´yan wasan kwaikwayon. Mun haɗa fim ɗin da hannu da kyamarori guda biyu kaɗai, wato ba mu yi amfani da wani kayan aiki na a zo a gani ba. Fim ɗin dai labari ne kawai irin na al´amara amma ba drama ba ne. To sai dai mutane da yawa na da ra´ayin cewa fim ɗin ya yi kyau domin ya ƙunshi sabbin abubuwa da ba a saba gani ba. Tunanin su shi ne mun kashe kuɗi da yawa to amma gaskiya abin da muka kashe bai taka kara ya karya ba.”

Ko shakka babu wannan fim yayi armashi. Duk da cewa ba a kasahe masa kuɗi mai yawa ba, amma kwalliya ta mayar da kuɗin sabulu domin furodusoshin sun yi nasarar yin wani gwaji yadda ´yan Afirka za su iya yin amfani da kuɗi kaɗan don shirya fim. Wannan fim dai ya ɗauki hankali mahalarta bukin na finafinai a Frankfurt inda wasu suka kwantanta shi da finafinan da ake shiryawa a Hollywood. To amma Adi El Assal ba yi jin daɗi idan ana kwantanta aikinsa da na Hollywood. Ya ce ganin yadda fim ɗin Blood Diamond ya yi suna, hakan ba shaida ba ce cewa Hollywood ta gano nahiyar Afirka.

“Me ake nufi da wai Hollywood ta gano Afirka? Dukkan finafinan Hollywood suna cin maƙudan kuɗaɗe kusan dala miliyan 40. Abin da suke yi kawai shi ne suna zuwa da ´yan wasansu Afirka, bayan sun shirya fim sai su yi gaba. Mu kuwa ba ma son haka. Abin da muke so shi ne mu tafiyar da hulɗa ta ƙut da ƙut da mutanen da muke haɗa finafinan a yankunansu, amma ba kawai da an gama sai an manta da su ba. Wato kenan an ci amfani ganga an yar da kwaure.”

Yanzu haka dai an baje kolin finafina fiye da 30 daga Afirka a gidan adana kayan tarihin fim na birnin Frankfurt. To amma finafinai kamar irin waɗanda kamfanin shirya finafinan Nijeriya wato Nollywood ya haɗa ba a nuna su a gun bukin na birnin Frankfurt ba saboda rashin ingancinsu. Wani fim da shi ma ya ɗauki hankali shi ne wanda Katy Lena Ndiaye ta shirya mai taken En attendant les hommes wato cikin jiran mutane a hausa. Fim ɗin akan halin rayuwa ne a garin Walata dake cikin hamadar ƙasar Mauritaniya. A fim ɗin dai an nuna yadda mata a wannan gari suke ba da labarin hulɗarsu da maza. Natasha Gikas wadda ke ɗaya daga cikin masu shirya bukin nuna finafinan a Frankfurt ta yi bayani kan finafinan Afirka tana mai cewa.

“Ko shakka babu har yanzu ana shirya finafinai game da rayuwar yau da kullum a ƙauyuka na Afirka da kuma fim na tatsuniya, amma fa yanzu an shiga wani zamani na haɗa finafinai na ilimin kimiyya. Alal misali a cikin shekarun baya-bayan nan an haɗa finafinai masu kyau daga Afirka, wanda a da ba zaka taɓa yin tunanin za a iya haɗa su a wannan nahiya ba.”

Bikin nuna finafinan na Frankfurt ya nuna ainihin finafinan da ke bayyana gaskiyar al´amura a Afirka ba tare da ƙarin gishiri ba, wato ba kamar yadda tashoshin telebijin a nahiyar Turai suke nunawa ba, inda suka fi mayar da hankali wajen wahalhalun da suka yiwa nahiyar ta Afirka katutu, kamar yadda Natasha Gikas ta yi bayani.

“A nan Jamus ana da ƙarancin masaniya game da nahiyar Afirka saboda finafinai ƙalilan ne ake shiryawa a wannan nahiya. Sannan waɗanda aka shirya a can ɗin ma da wuya ake ganinsu a gidajen sinima na Turai. Saboda haka ake yiwa nahiyar wata mummunar fahimta.”

Muhimmin abu ga Natasha Gikas shi ne bukin nuna finafinan na Afirka bai bawa wani fim na Afirka wata ma´ana. Inda an yi haka wato kenan da an sanya finafinai kamar Divizionz, En attendant les hommes da dai sauransu a jerin finafinai na ƙasashe matalauta, abin da masu shirya bukin ke yaƙi da shi.

The Frankfurt African Film Festival

Up to now, Hollywood movie companies in the United States have interacted with African countries by shooting movies with the cooperation of famous African film stars who were raised outside of the continent, but it is challenging for anyone who wants to know what Africa actually thinks about this because these movies are not shown in cinemas, and the public doesn’t know about the people involved in making them.

Here is a piece about a film called Divizionz that was made with a group of four young contemporary musicians from a poor neighborhood in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. These young people want to become famous, no matter what it takes. But there are complications along the way, and in Africa, becoming famous overnight is highly problematic because of different problems caused by the police, social order, and extreme poverty. The film’s Egyptian director, Adi El Assal, explains the film Divisionz in this way: “With this film, we attempted to show the social structure in Uganda. Because in the film you can see the differences that exist between poor and wealthy people, along with other things that you can’t miss."

This Egyptian director is part of a delegation of African film producers who were invited to a film festival in the city of Frankfurt. He said that this film is about friendship and life goals as well as what might happen when people who are close friends one day become enemies the next.

This film serves as a story of actual things that happen in everyday life as well as in art. Because of this, it has become a learning tool for those intending to make contemporary African films.

“We got really close to the actors. We shot the film by hand with just two cameras—that is, we didn’t need any fancy equipment. The film is just a simple story, not a drama. Still, many people think it’s a good film because it contains new things that they haven’t ever seen before. They assume that we spent a lot of money, but in fact we spent next to nothing.”

Still, this film is certainly rewarding. Although not a lot of money was spent on it, the overall effect transcends the issue of cost, and the producers have succeeded in demonstrating how Africans can make a film on a shoestring budget. This film caught the attention of Frankfurt film festival attendees when some of them compared it to films made in Hollywood, but it does not please Adi El Assal when his work is compared to a Hollywood film. He said that considering how the movie Blood Diamond made a name for itself, there is no evidence that Hollywood understands the continent of Africa.

“What does it mean to say that Hollywood understands Africa? All Hollywood films spend lots of money, like $40 million. They simply come to Africa with their own actors, and after they make the film, they move on. And we don’t want that. What we want is to engender enduring relations with people when we shoot a film where they live, not just to finish up and then forget about them. In other words, one benefits from the living tree trunk, not the dead wood.”

There are more than 30 films from Africa currently on exhibit at the Frankfurt film archive. But films like those that the Nigerian film production industry, Nollywood, has made were not shown at the Frankfurt festival due to their poor quality. A film that did raise interest was one by Katy Lena Ndiaye entitled En Attendant les Hommes ‘Waiting for the Men.’ This film is about the way of life in the village of Walata in the Mauritanian desert. It depicts how the women of this village tell the story of their relationships with men. Natasha Gikas, the main organizer of the Frankfurt film festival, explains.

“Really, up to now, films have been made about everyday life in rural Africa as well as folktale films, but now we’re entering an era of making films based on western education. For example, in the last couple of years there have been some great films from Africa that in the past you would never have thought would be made on that continent.”

The Frankfurt film festival has shown authentic films that depict the true customs of Africa without embellishment, which is unlike the way European television stations present them, paying more attention to the problems that Africa faces. Natasha Gikas explains, “Here in Germany there is a lack of knowledge about Africa because of the trifling number of films that are made on the continent. And those that are made there are not easy to find in European cinemas. Because of this, we have a poor understanding of the continent.”

For Natasha Gikas, the important thing is that the African film festival doesn’t provide an African film with a message. Doing this and placing films like Divizionz, En Attendant les Hommes, and others in a series of films from poor countries is what the festival organizers are struggling against.

Glossary

Hausa English Meaning
haɗin guiwa (lit: joining knees) to come together; to unite for a cause
masu hannu da shuni (lit: those with indigo-colored hands) the rich
zai sha da kyar (lit: he will struggle in drinking) challenging or almost impossible to achieve
ya yi suna (lit: he has achieved a name) to be famous
Ƙarin gishiri (lit: adding more salt) exaggeration
shahara ko ta halin ƙaƙa (lit: becoming famous in whatever situation) to become successful or famous by any means possible or at any cost
bai taka kara ya karye ba (lit: cannot break a stick) insignificant or unattractive
kwaliya ta mayar da ƙudin sabulu (lit: the cost of makeup has paid for the soap used to bathe) the end justifies the means
an ci anfanin ganga an yar da kwaure to exploit or take advantage of
kashe ƙudi (lit: to kill money) to spend money

Notes

1. Africa in the Eyes of Others

Europeans and Westerners often stereotype Africa as a violent, impoverished continent. This is often seen in Western movies that involve or tell a story about Africa such as The Last King of Scotland, Blood Diamond and Hotel Rwanda. As Blake Lambert pointed out in his article about African movies, “Celluloid misrepresentations might not matter if Western media and popular culture offered nuanced portraits of Africa. Instead, in most Western examinations of Africa there is a lasting paradigm of pity, suggesting Africans are incapable of managing their affairs and require salvation. Western movies contribute to that faulty perspective by depicting the continent as a monolithic land of difference and violence.” However, it is unclear whether Africans or African actors have the same views or opinions.

Lambert, Blake. (2008, March 24). Western movies depict Africa as monolithic land of difference and violence. WorldPoliticsReview.com. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1834

2. The African Film Industry

Although many movies have been produced in Africa, African filmmakers are seldom included or mentioned on the world stage. The movies made by the West often fail to reflect African realities and instead present a primitive representation of Africa to the rest of the world. Many African filmmakers like Sembène Ousmane, Med Hondo, and Jean-Pierre Bokolo, among others, have worked to reflect a civilized image of Africa and Africans through its people and cultures. The Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadoudou (FESPACO), held every two years in the capital of Burkina Faso, strengthens the determination of African filmmakers to accurately represent the continent.

3. Nollywood

Nigerian movies are very popular in Africa, and the Nigerian film industry, sometimes referred to as “Nollywood,” is one of the largest in Africa. Some Nigerians believe that Nollywood can make Nigerian movies as sophisticated as Hollywood movies and yet unique.

Movies are produced in different parts of Nigeria. They are mostly in English; however, one can find movies in broken or pidgin English or in a combination of English and one of the many Nigerian languages. For the most part, the language is chosen based on the story and the region of the production.

Nigerian movies are also popular among Africans living outside of the continent, including the United States, where movie stores are found in many communities where Africans live.

4. More Information

a) To learn more about African films, you may wish to read Françoise Pfaff’s Focus on African Films, published in 2004 by Indiana University Press. A preview of the book is available online at the following link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=kjqh7O99pv0C&pg=PA255&lpg=PA255&dq=fespaco+ouagadougou&source=bl&ots=v7LhpFtj2A&sig=X1h30oB2YC4MIkSaUeqZnitSGy8&hl=en&ei=DW7fSf8FkoC2A8D56bUJ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#PPP1,M1