College hosts African Film Series

As part of the Global Studies degree program's African Film Series, Penn State Berks will present four films this fall: Among the Righteous on Monday, September 16, at 1 p.m. in room 308 of the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building; and Cry Freedom on Wednesday, September 18, Yesterday, on Wednesday, October 9, and Endurance, on Wednesday, December 4, all at 6 p.m. in room 101 of the Franco Building. All four films are free and open to the public.

Among the Righteous is a 2010 PBS documentary that traces the eight-year journey made by Robert Satloff, the head of a respected Washington think tank. In the wake of September 11 and the rise of Holocaust denial in the Arab world, Satloff decided to seek out Arab heroes who opposed the extension of the Holocaust to the half million Jews under Axis rule in North Africa. What he found was an amazing lost chapter of history.

Cry Freedom is set in South Africa in the 1970s. This 1987 Hollywood film depicts life in the time of Apartheid. While it brilliantly illustrates the land and peoples, it focuses on the friendship between black activist, Steve Biko (played by Denzel Washington) and white newspaper editor, Donald Woods (played by Kevin Kline) who bravely exposed Biko?s murder by prison guards to the world.

Yesterday is the story of a young South African woman, named Yesterday, who falls ill and discovers she is HIV positive. She hopes to survive long enough to see her daughter, Beauty, go to school. This 2004 HBO movie, nominated for an Academy Award, presents both a look at Zulu society, gender, and social relations, and some of the issues surrounding AIDS in Africa.

Endurance, a 1999 film, ends the semester series on a lighter, fun note with the life story of Haile Gebre Selassie, gold medalist in the 10,000 meters at the Atlanta Olympics. He plays himself in this production, which is produced in English and Amharic and shows many aspects of life in rural Ethiopia in the 1990s.

For more information about the African Film Series, contact Dr. Randall Fegley, assistant professor of history, at 610-396-6092, or via e-mail at [email protected].