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Africa on film

Film Africa, London’s biggest celebration of African cinema, returns for its fourth year with a bumper programme of films, premiers and visiting filmmakers.
from African Film Festival on Oct 20, 2014.

Girl shoots abductor: Ethiopian government shoots itself in the foot

'Defret' opens with the weasel words, “Based on a true story”. And, as ever, truth is stranger than fiction.
from Daniel Nelson on Oct 25, 2014.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* In the wake of the London International Film Festival, come two impressive festivals each with a diverse range of features, documentaries and shorts. The London African Film Festival gives exposure to films all-too-rarely seen in this country, and has special seasons on South African, Algerian and Portuguese-language cinema, and a strong focus on strong women.  The UK Jewish Film Festival has 95 films and 159 screenings at venues across London, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham. Don't be mistaken in thinking the films are about religion: they are thrillers, comedies, musicals, biopics, documentaries about Palestinian and Middle East issues as well as films from the worldwide diaspora. November also sees Iranian and Palestine film festivals. 


*  The National Theatre is staging two fascinating theatre productions. Here Lies Love is a musical that traces the journey of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace. The theatre is "transformed into a pulsating club for an immersive theatrical event which combines heart-pounding beats with adrenaline-fuelled choreography and 360-degree staging." Audiences are advised to dress comfortably and those in the pit performance area will stand and dance with the actors.


Next up will be  Behind the Beautiful Forevers by David Hare, based on Katherine Boo's book about a group of residents in a Mumbai shantytown. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, 12 and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate. But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.


* There's another musical on an unlikely topic: The Scottsboro Boys, the all-singing, all-dancing version of an infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans, performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping. 


* Below, right: The Golden Temple, the holiest site of Sikhism. Six months after it was attacked by Indian government forces in 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated, and thousands of Sikhs were killed in the ensuing pogrom in Delhi. The massacre is remembered at the Wiener Library this week with an exhibition and discussion.


Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson







Thursday 30 October

* Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, Gabriella Coleman, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Air quality for all, Frank kelly, Sarah Collins, James Thornton, 7-8.30pm, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7. Info: 7591 3100/

* Afghanistan: the transition, Renzo Frike, Stuart Gordon, Emma Graham-Harrison, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Male Victims of Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Chris Dolan, 5-6.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4367 


Saturday 1-Sunday 2 November

* Amnesty Student Conference, 9am-5pm, £20, Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, EC2. Info:  Booking


Monday 3 November

* Justice for Jimmy Mubenga protest, show that outrage continues four years after Mubenga was unlawfully killed by three G4S guards who are facing manslaughter charges at the Old Bailey, 9.30am, Central Crown Court (Old Bailey), EC4. Info:

* Confronting a Culture of Militarism, Steve Pratt, David Gee, Jim Radford and Walter Heaton, 7pm, free, Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, N1. Info: 7837 4473/


Tuesday 4 November  

* Hope for Zimbabwe, Ben Freeth, Christina Lamb, Sir Jeffrey Jowell, 7pm, £15, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7. Info: 01795 842341/

* Blinded by humanity, book launch with Sara Pantuliano, Martin Barber, 6pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* After Gaza: The power of BDS, and the rise of Jewish voices for Palestinian rights, Rebecca Vilkomerson, 6:30-8pm. Info: Booking

* Exhibiting Africa, Tim Rice examines the uses of film in early 20th century colonial exhibitions, 7pm, Goethe Intitute, 50 Princes Gate, SW7. Info: 7596 4000/

* Irish Migrant Teachers in Britain: new opportunities and enduring stereotypes, Louise Ryan, 6.30-8pm, free, Room T138, London Metropolitan University, Tower Building, 166-220 Holloway Road, N7. Info: Registration

* Can the war on tobacco be won?, Martin McKee, Richard Horton, Vinayak Prasad, Pascal Diethelm, 5:45-6:45pm, free, London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC. Info:

* High-Risk Activism and Popular Struggle Against the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, Joel Beinin, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6250.

* Food Policy: ethics for your kitchen and beyond, Luc Bovens, Elena Rivilla Lutterkort, Duncan Williamson, 6.45pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Are there just wars? The history and philosophy of bellum justum, Costas Douzinas, 8.30pm, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, WC1. Info: 7631 6000


Wednesday 5 November

* Stranded Assets: How can policymakers act to ensure economic stability while reducing emissions?, Mark Campanale, Anthony Hobley, Ben Caldecott, Charlie Kronick, Marieke Beckmann, Jon Gibbins, 10-11:30am, Committee Room 6, House of Commons, SW1. Info:

* Human Rights: The Law, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, 6pm, free, Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, WC1. Info: 7831 0575/

* Bachelet’s Return – Change for Chile?,  Carlos Fortin and Rodrigo Aguilera, 6:30-8:30pm, £10, Canning House, 14/15 Belgrave Square, SW1


Thursday 6 November

* Can we ever build a green economy?, half-day conference on the importance of taking international and national action to address climate change with Sir David King, Frances O’Grady, Caroline Flint MP, Paul Ekins, Will McDowall, Fergus Green,  Doug Parr, 9.15am-11pm, free, Congress House, Great Russell Street, WC1. Info: Booking

* Can we have prejudice without the pride?, Ed Husain, Anthony Heath, Penny Young7-8.30pm, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info:

* Harnessing the power of mobile phones and big data for global health, Rachel McKendry, 6.30-7.30pm, free, The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7451 2500

* Terrorism, law and aid, Naz K. , Dustin Lewis, Mike Parkinson, Abdurahman Sharif, 2-4pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info:  7922 0300

* A Post-Genomic Surprise: the molecular reinscription of race in science, law and medicine, Troy Duster, 6.30pm,  London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043. 

* Planetary Economics: macroeconomic and international implications, Michael Grubb, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043


Thursday 6-Friday 7 November 

* Stewardship for planet earth: sustainable resources & governance – evidence, challenges and solution, UCL, Malet Place, WC1. Info: 3108 5935/


Friday 7 Novemnber

* Is a World Without War Possible?, Christopher Coker, 6pm, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, WC1. Info: 7631 6000







The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms Remembered, photographs and text, Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info:

No justice for 1984 anti-Sikh bloodshed


* Disobedient Objects, exhibition that looks at the role of objects in movements for social change, including banners, changing designs for barricades, political video games, experimental activist bicycles and textiles bearing witness to political murders,  V&A Museum, South Kensington, until 1 February

Objects that help change the world


A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution, a century of posters agitating for political change drawn from the V&A collection, including acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest, free, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, SW5, until 2 November. Info: 7942 2000


Rapid Response Collecting, small, stimulating display of 11 contemporary objects collected in response to major moments in history that touch the worlds of design and manufacturing, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, SW5, until 15 January.

Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes


* Black Chronicles II, exhibition exploring black presences in 19th and early 20th century Britain, through the prism of photography – particularly studio portraiture, Rivington Place, EC2, until 29 November. Info: 7749 1240/  Exhibition/ 

+ Ending the historical absence of the black presence 

4 Nov, Val Wilmer in Conversation with Margaret Busby, 6:30-8:30pm, free

7-9 Nov, dawn-to-dusk image projections of rarely seen images of the King’s Indian Orderly Army Officers (1903-1938), free, Rich Mix

8 Nov, walking tour, 4pm, £5, Rivington Place to Rich Mix, about notable black individuals who lived in the area in the 19th century.

9 Nov, The Family Album Roadshow, 11am-3pm, free, Rich Mix


Barriers to Accessing Healthcare in Afghanistan, photos by Andrea Bruce and Mikhail Galustov, free, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info:  7955 6043


Some Are Smarter Than Others, Filipino artist Pio Abad on the cultural legacy of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, free, Gasworks, SE11, until 16 November. Info: 7582 6848


* Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, 18 photographers, 250 photographs from the '30s til now, including the dramatic growth of Chinese urbanisation recorded by Nadav Kander, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, until 11 January; part of of the Constructing Worlds season, which includes film about cities around the world

+ Post-independence in the picture


* Animal Photography Prize Exhibition, free with zoo ticket, London Zoo, Regent's park, until 12 December. Info:  449 6200/


Helmand Return, photos by Robert Wilson, Gallery One and a Half, 1 1/2 Ardleigh Road, N1, until 30 November. Info: 7923 1430


Living Africa: Through the Art of Its Children, work from Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, free,  Islington Museum, until 18 November. Info: 7527 2837 


* Davide Montelone: Spasibo, Italian photographer's work, mainly on Chechnya,  free, Saatchi Gallery, SW3, until 3 November. Info: 7811 3070


* Re-Imagine: Black Women in Britain, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, SW2, free, until 30 November. Info: 3757 8500/

+ 18  November, exhibition tour, 1-1.45pm, £5/£3

+ 7, 14, 28 November, lunchtime talks, 1-145pm, £5/£3 


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014, the work of professionals and amateur photographers from around the globe, Natural History Museum, South Kensington


* The Colours of Myanmar, Maxime Bulloch's photographs, free, Upstairs at the Ritzy, SW2, until 3 November. Info: 08717 042 065

Living Africa: Through the art of its children, free, Islington Museum, 245 St. John Street, EC1, until 18 November. Info: 7527 2837/


London, Sugar & Slavery , permanent gallery at the Museum in Docklands, with new display that gives a snapshot of those who received compensation when slavery was abolished in the 1830s, No 1 Warehouse, E14. Info: 0870 444 38520870 444 3852/


Peckham Square Studio, black and white portraits of local residents taken by Eileen Perrier on Peckham Square, free, Peckham Square Studio, until 16 November


* atmosphere: exploring climate science, free, Science Museum, South Kensington. Info: Museum


Atlantic Worlds, transatlantic slave trade gallery, National Maritime Museum, Park Row, SE1. Info: 8858 4422/ 8312 656


Eco Zone Gallery, small gallery devoted to sustainable building products and materials, The Building Centre, Store Street, WC1. Info: 7692 4000/


from Thursday 6 November

* On the Way Home, installation and digital prints by Palestinian artist Munir Waked, who now lives in London, that explores and challenges ideas of social justice, 9am-5pm, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, until 20 November. Info: Facebook



Image: Women Entirely Women is a documentary about the use of a medical procedure in Burkina Faso to restore the clitoris for girls and women who have been subjected to female genital mutilation. It is being shown as part of the London African Film Festival, with the screening followed by a panel discussion.

Women Entirely Women




Native Spirit Film Festival, Bolivian Andes, Guatemala, Australia, Congo frainforests, and a documentary on the Ainu of Japan, plus guest speaker Nixiwaka Yawanawá, Rudolph Steiner House, 35 Park Road, NW1 and School of Oriental & African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1, until 1 November. Info:Programme/ 


Thursday 30 October

* Iranian Cinema: History and Current Practice, Zeydabadi-Nejad, Pejman Danaei, 8pm, £5/£3, Chelsea Theatre, 7 World's End Place, King's Road, SW10. Info: Cinema/ 7352 1967

* Unearthed, inquiry into fracking plans in South Africa + Q&A with director, 6.30pm, £11/£8, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info: ICA

* We Are the Giant, documentary featuring inspirational stories of six individuals who spoke their minds + Q&A, 6.20pm, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232/ 7928 3535


Friday 31 October

* Shorts at the Frontline Club, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940


from Friday 31 October

* CitizenFour, documentary about Edward Snowden, Curzons Mayfair, Victoria and Wimbledon, ICA

* Film Africa, the Royal African Society's annual film festival, until 9 November. Info: Films include

1 November Fadhma N’Soumer, biopic of  the “Joan of Arc of Kabylia”

Women, Entirely Women, documentary about surgical restoration of the clitoris in Burkina Faso

Suffering Is A School of Wisdomdocumentary filmmaker Astrid Atodji looks for her father in Cameroon, who left Benin 40 years ago, exploring notions of identity that help her understand her story and a wider history

Ken Bugul: Nobody Wants Her, filmic ode to revered Senegalese writer The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo 

1994: The Bloody Miracle, doc on how a group of hard men nearly thwarted South African democracy 

2 NovemberKinyarwanda, depiction of the human resilience and the struggle of brave Rwandans during the genocide

National Diploma, fly-on-the-wall documentary about the struggles of a group of Congolese students to pass an important exam

* National Diploma passes with distinction

Ady Gasy: The Malagasy Way, poetic doc that follows artists, farmers and craftsmen as the wise voices building a new society

Difret a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl is seized by horsemen, shoots one of her captors and looks certain to be found guilty of murder until a women's rights' lawyer takes up her case: based on a real incident

+ Girl shoots abductor: Ethiopian government shoots itself in the foot

4 November, 100% Dakar - More Than Art, one of Africa's most vibrant art scenes + Under the Starry Sky, three members of the diaspora become entwined as they make their way between Turin, Dakar and New York

5 NovemberA Doomed Generation charts the struggle of Tunisian cyber-dissidents against censorship

Miners Shot Down, doc about the 2012, Marikana strike and massacre in South Africa

Soft Vengeance, the Albie Sachs story

6 November, The Supreme Price, an "action-thriller doc" that follows Hafsat Abiola + Q&A with Abiola and Joanna Lipper

White Shadow disturbing coming-of-age story of a young albino Tanzanian  trying to navigate the world with a price on his head

7 NovemberVirgin Margarida, restrained, thought-provoking film set in Mozambique in 1975 that tells the story of a group of female sex workers captured by revolutionary soldiers and sent for ‘re-education

9 November, Timbuktusuperb drama set in northern Mali after its takeover last year by Islamic fundamentalists

A beautifully observed Timbuktu story.


Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 November

* London Iranian Film Festival,  £10/£12, Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensbury Place, SW7. Info: 7871 3515/ Films include

1 Nov, The Paternal House, strong attack on patriarchal authority,that was banned for two years

2 Nov, I'm Not Angry, post-2009 election drama that offers insight into ways of life in Tehran + Lady Urmia, documentary about the threat to Lake Rezaiyyeh


Sunday 2 November

* Women Behind the Camera, meet prominent Middle Eastern women filmmakers - Rose Issa, Sara Ishaq, Tina Gharavi, Nadine Khan, 5.30pm, £12.50, The Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road, W11. Info: Cinema/ 7908 9696





* Here Lies Love, Imelda Marcos' meteoric rise to fame in The Philippines and her fall to infamy and disgrace - "dress comfortably and come ready to dance", National Theatre, South Bank, SE1, until 8 January. Info: National


* The Infidel - The Musical, romp about a British Muslim who discovers he was born to a Jewish family, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15, until 2 November. Info: 8534 0310

+ Burqas and barmitzvahs: it's a laughing matter


* The Scottsboro Boys, an infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans is performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping, Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2, to 21 February. Info: 0844 412 4662/

+ The black and black minstrel show


* East is East, iconic British comedy about growing up in a mixed-race family in 1970s Salford enjoys a revival, Trafalgar Studios, until 3 January. Info: 0844 871 7632


* How Nigeria Became A Story, And A Spear That Didn't Work, written and directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, £10-£16, Unicorn Theatre, SE1, until 9 November. Info: 7645 0560


* Das Ding, "a globetrotting comedy of globalised connections",  £12.50/£14.50, New Diorama Theatre, until 1 November. Info: 0844 209 0344


* Pandora's Box, on holiday with her streetwise son, a British-Nigerian mother is in turmoil: should she leave him in a strict Nigerian boarding school, or return him to the battlefields of inner London?, The Bussey Building aka The CLF Art Cafe, 133 Rye Lane,  SE15, until 31 October. Info: 7732 5275/; 1 November, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8. Info: 7503 1646/


Friday 31 October  

* Eau de Toilette,  looks at one of London’s unnoticed: the toilet attendant - expect exotic dancing with perfume bottles, whirling dervishes, throat singing and toilet roll, 7pm, £5, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498


Sunday 2 November

* The House of My Father, new play by Carmen Nasr in which, while war rages in the streets of a divided Beirut, a family refuses to abandon their home as they await the return of their father, Finborough Theatre, 7.30pm, £4, 118 Finborough Road, SW10. Info: 0844 847 1652


Tuesday 4 November

* Stand Up for Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Ccampaign fundraiser with Alexei Sayle, Jeremy Hardy, Nish Kumar, Tom Allen, 7:30-11:30pm, £20/£15, Red Gallery, 1-3 Rivington Street, EC2. Info: 77006192/






Thursday 30 November

The Afghan war, two-parter on British involvement in Afghanistan, 11.20pm, BBC2

* Rwanda's Untold Story, repeat of programme that has angered today's Rwandan government, 12.20pm, BBC2

* In Our Time:  nuclear fusion, 9am, R4


Friday 31 November

* Unreported World, always worth checking out  this documentary spot, 7.3pm, C4

* Fire In The Blood, excellent documentary on how activists overcame political and corporate inertia to set the ball rolling on effectuive treatment for HIV/AIDS, 8pm, Al Jazeera English. Other screenings: Part1 :1 November noon; 2/11 at 1 am; 3/11 at 6am; Part 2: 7/11 at 8pm; 8/11 at noon; 9/11 at 1 am; 10/11 at 6am. The ffilm will also be available for free viewing for a week on:

* Assassination: When Delhi Burned, a look at events after the murder of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, 11am, R4

* Plants: from Roots to Riches, 9pm, R4