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SUNU Journal

SUNU Journal

SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics, publishes works dealing with an array of themes and ideas from a Pan-African perspective. It is rooted in the intersectionality of the global Black experience, and recognizes that a Pan-African perspective must be inclusive and representative of a diverse community. Drawing from OVID’s expansive library, the films presented in our curated list reflect SUNU Journal’s values and ethos in that they offer a range of themes and stories that highlight the universal, the personal and the culturally specific. This list also brings together different generations of filmmakers and stories from across Africa and the diaspora. We begin in the late 1950s and arrive at the end of the last decade. In this cinematic journey through time and space, we encounter social movements, artistic pioneers, cultural traditions, sexuality, identity, personal aspirations and much more. This list offers the poetic and the profound, facilitates meaningful dialogue, and aims to provide a window into the various historical and contemporary lived experiences of the global Black community.

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SUNU Journal
  • Moi, Un Noir

    Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1958 • 70 minutes

    Winner of the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in 1958, MOI, UN NOIR marked Jean Rouch's break with traditional ethnography, and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called "shared ethnography" and "ethnofiction."
    ...

  • Little By Little

    Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1969 • 92 minutes

    When we re-join Rouch's collaborators Zika and Ibrahim in Ayorou, Niger, the Little By Little company they had formed at the conclusion of JAGUAR has become a large import-export company. Hearing that a competitor is building a multistory ...

  • I Am Somebody

    Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1970 • 30 minutes

    In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard. Featuring An...

  • Finally Got the News

    Directed by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner • Documentary • 1970 • 55 minutes

    FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with th...

  • Conversations with Roy DeCarava

    Directed by Carroll Parrot Blue • Documentary • 1984 • 28 minutes

    'It starts before you snap the shutter... It starts with your sense of what's important.' These are the words of Roy DeCarava, one of the foremost photographic artists of the twentieth century, contributor to the Family of Man exh...

  • Seven Songs for Malcolm X

    Directed by John Akomfrah • Documentary • 1993 • 52 minutes

    An homage to the inspirational African-American civil rights leader, SEVEN SONGS FOR MALCOLM X collects testimonies, eyewitness accounts and dramatic reenactments to tell the life, legacy, loves, and losses of Malcolm X.

    Featuring inte...

  • The Watermelon Woman

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • Drama • With Cheryl Dunye, Zoie Strauss, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker, Lisa Marie Bronson, Cheryl Clarke, Irene Dunye • 1996 • 90 minutes

    Re-released for its 20th anniversary in a pristine 2K HD restoration, The Watermelon Woman is the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye...

  • The Last Angel of History

    Directed by John Akomfrah • Documentary • 1996 • 45 minutes

    John Akomfrah, director of Seven Songs of Malcolm X, returns with an engaging and searing examination of the hitherto unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing c...

  • Fold Crumple Crush: The Art of El Anatsui

    Directed by Susan Vogel • Documentary • 2011 • 53 minutes

    Filmed over three years in Venice, Nsukka, and the United States, this is a powerful portrait of Africa's most widely acclaimed contemporary artist El Anatsui. FOLD CRUMPLE CRUSH: THE ART OF EL ANATSUI gives an insider's view of the artis...

  • Future of Mud

    Directed by Susan Vogel • Documentary • 2007 • 58 minutes

    Through the story of a mason in Djenne, Komusa Tenapo, and his family, this documentary examines an African tradition of mud architecture in Mali. The environmental genius of these ancient construction techniques thick walls with tiny win...

  • For the Best and for the Onion!

    Directed by Elhadj Magori Sani • Documentary • 2008 • 52 minutes

    "I am singing about onion farming, bringing both suffering and joy." So sings an onion farmer as he works his field Galmi, in Niger. Beside him stands Yaro, a fellow farmer who knows all too well the hope and sorrow his livelihood ...

  • The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman

    Directed by Rosine Mbakam • Documentary • 2016 • 76 minutes

    Rosine Mbakam left Cameroon at 27 to live in Belgium. Seven years later—having studied film and married a European—she returns to make what she calls a journey into darkness—to the village of her birth, and later to the capital city of ...

  • Mali Blues

    Directed by Lutz Gregor • Documentary • With Fatoumata Diawara, Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Bassékou Kouyaté • 2016 • 93 minutes

    The West African country of Mali is widely recognized as the birthplace of the blues, later carried by the transatlantic slave trade to America's cotton fields. Yet despite cent...

  • '63 Boycott

    Directed by Gordon Quinn • Documentary • 2017 • 30 minutes

    On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Many marched through the city calling for the resignation of School Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed trailers, ...

  • Black Is the Color: A History of African American Art

    Directed by Jacques Goldstein • Documentary • 2017 • 52 minutes

    In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted a major exhibit called “Harlem On My Mind.” There was just one thing wrong: the show had no work by African-American artists.

    The “Harlem on My Mind” fiasco is emblematic ...

  • Bronx Gothic

    Directed by Andrew Rossi • Documentary • With Okwui Okpokwasili • 2017 • 91 minutes

    From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, The First Monday in May) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show, Bronx Gothic. R...

  • Until the Birds Return

    Directed by Karim Moussaoui • Drama • With Mohamed Djouhri, Hania Amar, Hassan Kachach • 2018 • 113 minutes

    A property developer is witness to random street violence. A pair of secret lovers make their way across the desert. A doctor is accused of having a criminal past. In these three interconn...

  • The Poets

    Directed by Chivas DeVinck • Documentary • 2018 • 99 minutes

    Syl Cheney-Coker (author of The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) and Niyi Osundare (recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest recognition for distinguished academic an...

  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    Directed by Rosine Mbakam • Documentary • 2018 • 70 minutes

    Sabine attaches a hair weave and gets to work. Her hands move quickly and precisely, as she tightly braids the hair in front of the sign in her salon promising African, European, and American-style coiffure. Sabine is a larger than-life...

  • Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

    Directed by Isaac Julien, Mark Nash • Drama • With Colin Salmon, Halima Daoud, Noirin Ni Dubhgaill, Stuart Hall, Françoise Verges • 1995 • 72 minutes

    FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK explores for the first time on film the pre-eminent theorist of the anti-colonial movements of this century. ...