This semester, I’ve had the fortune to attend Dr. John Shoup’s African Cinema course. This class exposes students to wonderful films that — surprise! — can sometimes be found in full length on Youtube. I didn’t want to keep these to myself, so here are my two favorites so far, taken from our North Africa unit. Grab your Haribo, Nutella and ice cream, and enjoy…
1. L’Atlantinde, 1920 (This one may require a fake mustache to get you in the mood.)
L’Atlantide is a French silent film about explorers and military men who mysteriously go missing/are murdered by compatriots in the Algerian desert. Sure, it’s a white-man-in-Africa story, but there are at least some Algerian actors. Plus, the music and visual artistry work together quite well. According to Shoup, L’Atlantide was once remade by Americans. With horrible results.
2. Al-Mummia, or The Night of Counting the Years, 1970
This Egyptian film deals with a young peasant and conflict with his ethnic group, which steals from Pharaonic tombs to survive. Directed by Shadi Abd al-Salam and filmed in Upper Egypt, every still from this film could be featured in a photo exhibit.