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ADIFF Chicago Film Series 2022


3pm  Moto Taxi (90min)

Directed by Narcisse Wandji, Cameroun, 2021, 90min, Drama, French with English subtitles

“Bendskins” is the name given to the motorcycle tax-drivers of Cameroon. Following the lives of three bendskins, Moto Taxi tells the story of Sani, Marie, and Franck as they carry their fares through the pot-holed gravel streets of modern, urban Africa, giving us insight into their private lives along the way: Sani gets into trouble with his pregnant girlfriend’s father, who’s not afraid to throw his weight around. Marie is searching for a man who years ago raped her. And Franck is trying to get rid of a bag with shocking contents.

5pm The Mali-Cuba Connection (81min)

Directed by Edouard Salier and Richard Minier | 2020 | France, Cuba, Mali | Documentary | Spanish, French with English subtitles

In the midst of the Cold War, ten young promising musicians from Mali are sent to Cuba to study music and strengthen cultural links between the two socialist countries. Combining Malian and Afro-Cuban influences, they develop a revolutionary new sound and become the iconic ensemble ‘Las Maravillas de Mali.’ On New Year’s Eve in 2000, Richard Minier, a French music producer meets a former member of the band in Bamako and decides to bring the band back together.

7pm The Sleeping Negro (72min)

Directed by Skinner Myers, USA, 2021, 72min, Drama, English

Confronted with a series of racially charged incidents, a young black man must overcome rage, alienation, and hopelessness in order to find his own humanity. The young black man, simply identified as “Man,” must resolve the personal meaning of his blackness when his white boss orders him to commit fraud to benefit the corporation. Struggling with an overwhelming sense of shame for going through with the illegal demand, Man seeks consolation by discussing his unease with a black former friend and his white fiancé. That does not go well…

8:45pm Back of the Moon: Sophiatown 1958 (95min)

Directed by Angus Gibson, South Africa, 2019, 95min, Drama, Zulu w/English subtitles

Oscar-nominated South African director, Angus Gibson, takes us back to the glitz and menace of Sophiatown in his stylish new film, Back of the Moon. on July 28, 1958, Badman, an intellectual and the leader of the most powerful gang in Sophiatown falls for the gorgeous Eve Msomi, a torch-singer the night Sophiatown residents are to be removed from Sophiatown by the Apartheid police.


1pm  She Had a Dream  (90min)

Directed by Raja Amari, Tunisia, 2020, 90min, Documentary, Arabic and French w/English subtitles

Ghofrane, 25, is a young Black Tunisian woman and a committed activist who speaks her mind, she embodies Tunisia’s current political upheaval. As a victim of racial discrimination, Ghofrane decides to go into politics. We follow her extraordinary path, ranging from acting on her ambition to disillusion. Through her attempts to persuade both close friends and complete strangers to vote for her, her campaign reveals the many faces of a country seeking to forge a new identity. In its own unique way, this documentary sheds light on women’s place in Tunisia’s changing society.

3:00pm Sugar Cane Malice (76min)

Directed by Juan A. Zapata, Dominican Republic/Spain, 2021, 76min, Documentary, Spanish w/English subtitles

A documentary about a case of modern slavery in one of the largest sugar cane plantations in the world, located in the Dominican Republic and belonging to the Fanjul Family, one of the most powerful families in America.

4:45pm Dancing the Twist in Bamako (129min)

Directed by Robert Guédiguian, France / Canada / Senegal, 2021, 129min, Romantic Drama, French with English subtitles

Mali, 1962. The youth of Bamako dance the twist to rock and roll music newly imported from the West and dream of political renewal. Samba, a young socialist, falls for spirited Lara during one of his missions to the bush. To escape her forced marriage, she secretly flees with him to the city. But Lara’s husband won’t let them be and the Revolution soon brings painful disillusions as they dream of a future together.

7:30pm Loimata, The Sweetest Tears (94min)

Directed by Anna Marbrook, New Zealand / Sāmoa. 2021, 94 minutes, Documentary, English & Samoan with English subtitles

The redemptive tale of waka builder and captain Lilo Ema Siope’s final years, the stunning Loimata: The Sweetest Tears is a chronicle of journeys. Confronting intergenerational trauma head on, the Siope family returns to their homeland of Sāmoa. For Ema’s father, this is his first time back to his birthplace since leaving in 1959. The result is a poignant yet tender story of a family’s unconditional love for each other, and a commitment to becoming whole again.

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