Africa at the Oscars
Le Bal or The Ball (Ettore Scola,1983)
Oh look it’s not another Boucharab film.Well get your dancing shoes ready. A film without language except music and dance. This Italian-Franco Algerian film is sans dialogue that presents decades of French Society in the realm of ballroom dancing. It’s original and pleasure watch with eccentricities that I welcome. I wonder why it represented Algeria Algeria rather than France when it was nominated for the academy award.
Reasons to watch
- It’s quite unique by not having any set characters, narrative nor dialogue throughout the ages of a Parisian dance hall. The same people that attend and team of musicians appear in every period.
- In its background,they fluidly feature events surrounding World War II, racial issues and other historical moments.
- The fashion is gorgeous and commemorates the styles of each differing time periods.
Since the early 1900’s, more than 1350 pictures have been produced in South Africa.The film industry began with the formation of the AFP(African Film Productions) where in 1910,their first fabricated was film titled, The Great Kimberly Diamond Robbery.Fast forward to the late 1940’s, the start apartheid policies affected the industry due to the divisions it made in regards to race and language.
South African cinema has recently experience growth in their domestic and international markets.They’ve had favorable success with films such as Tsotsi,Yesterday and district 9 just to name a few. South Africa holds a reputation as a place with great locations for quality and affordable film making compared to Europe and America.The country receives a significant number of international filmmakers thereby boosting their economy.
Yesterday (Darell Roodt, 2004)
Yesterday, a young mother with an optimistic disposition catastrophically discovers her husband gave her aids.The fool also had the audacity to discard her when she informs him. Emotionally compelling, she never went to school herself and therefore is determined to stay alive long enough for her daughter, Beauty to attend school. It was nominated for best foreign language film at the 77th academy awards and won other prizes as well.
Reasons to watch
- Though the family is impoverished, the character of Yesterday is a formidable spirit that you can’t help but be in awe of her. She displays much compassion for her ill husband despite his earlier actions that makes you love her even more. A bit melodramatic but it serves its purpose without being cliched.
- It displays the issue of the plight of many impoverished people living with the disease.The lack of access to medication or opportunity to those who can’t afford it and general health care education.