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Zan Boko
Zan Boko is an important contribution to one of the central themes of contemporary African cinema: the conflict between tradition and change. It marks an important synthesis of the “Africanist” and “social realist” trends in African filmmaking. Zan Boko means the “place were the placenta is buried” and symbolized the continuity between past and present in African village societies. The film tells the story of a village swallowed up by one of Africa’s sprawling cities. Through this commonplace event, the film reveals the transformation of an agrarian, subsistence society into an industrialized, commodity economy and of an oral culture into a mass media culture. Zan Boko is also the story of two men, from different worlds but sharing a common integrity. Tinga is a peasant farmer whose ancestral land is confiscated by a wealthy businessman. Yabre is a journalist whose uncompromising television expose of Tinga’s victimization is censored by a corrupt government. Zan Boko is the first African film to take a candid look at the role of television in contemporary Africa. In it we witness a revolution in communications. In “pre-industrial” societies meaning is inherited through the oral tradition, through the repetition of the “wisdom of the ancestors.” In industrialized societies, it is manufactured by the mass media, by forces controlling society’s agenda. This film gives us a unique opportunity to see our own televised civilization through the eyes of the traditional cultures it is displacing. (94 minutes, 1988, VHS)

(Zora Neale Hurston) Jump at the Sun
A pioneering anthropologist. A celebrated novelist. A noted intellectual. Zora Neale Hurston traveled coast to coast on a tireless journey, never forgetting her mother’s admonition to always “jump at the sun.” Forever ahead of her time, controversial to the end, she would die proud but penniless, only to be embraced by a new generation as the authentic voice of her era. This is her story told in her own words. (DVD, 84 minutes, 2008)

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