Africa Through the Lens of Fiction and Film

Africa Through the Lens of Fiction and Film
Friday 6 October, 18:00
The Cube Cinema, Dove St S, Avon, Bristol BS2 8JD
£7 / £6 concs

An evening of film and discussion, with delicious Nigerian food from Agape House Cafe. 




Panel Discussion with Kivu Ruhorahoza, Yaba Badoe, and Ingrid Sinclair. Chaired by Kirk Sides.

Ahead of a screening of Biyi Bandele’s recent adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed novel Half of a Yellow Sun and Ingrid Sinclair’s short Riches, a panel of writers and filmmakers discuss the intersection of film and literature about and in Africa. How do creative processes compare and move across screen and text? How does financing work and differ for these media? What are the political implications of putting Africa on-screen in an era of ‘spectacle culture’ and ‘poverty porn’?  What are the challenges of putting literary fiction onscreen, and what different roles have poets and novelists had in shaping filmic representations of Africa?


Delicious Nigerian food from Agape House Cafe, £5 per plate.



Riches (26 min)

A short film inspired by the influential writer Bessie Head, following the story of Molly McBride and her son Peter’s journey from apartheid South Africa to an isolated school in Zimbabwe. She finds life tough and the villagers hostile and conservative. Molly’s clash with the hypocritical headmaster leaves her jobless and in despair, but a simple gesture of friendship from one of the poorest members of the community inspires her to fight back and claim her place within her new society.

Half of a Yellow Sun (111 min)

With video introduction by director Biyi Bandele.

An epic adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s landmark novel starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. In the late 1960s twin sisters Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) arrive back home in Nigeria, having finished their studies in England. While Olanna moves in with her boyfriend, professor Odenigbo (Ejiofor), and his young houseboy, Ugwu (John Boyega), Kainene becomes a businesswoman and gets involved with British writer Richard (Joseph Mawle). When the Nigerian Civil War breaks out the sisters’ lives are changed forever. Bandele’s brilliantly realised film explores moral responsibility, the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, race and class — and how love can complicate them all.

In partnership with Afrika Eye


Yaba Badoe is an award-winning Ghanaian-British documentary film-maker and writer. In 2014 Yaba was nominated for the Distinguished Woman of African Cinema Award.

Kivu Ruhorahoza is a London based award-winning filmmaker whose visionary work has been officially screened at top international A-List festivals including Sundance, TriBeCa, Sydney,Rotterdam, Warsaw, Melbourne, Rio, Venice and renowned museums and venues such as the Tate Modern, the MoMA, the BFI Southbank and many others. Kivu has also directed music videos including the two lead singles of Saul Williams’ album Martyr Loser King (Fader Label). Kivu Ruhorahoza’s work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian,CNN, Le Monde, the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Screen Anarachy Magazine.  He has also collaborated with Chimurenga Magazine and an exceprt of his debut novel, Free Fall, is to published by Kwani? Magazine. His films include Things of the Aimless Wanderer (official Sundance 2015 selection) &  Matière Grise (2011).

Ingrid Sinclair is a director and screenwriter who moved from England to Zimbabwe and become involved in the liberation struggle. Her pivotal first feature Flame, received prizes and standing ovations world-wide. Flame was selected for Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. In Flame and her previous prize winning documentary Bird From Another World, she deals with the day-to-day drama of politics, history, geography, culture and the way they affect people, turning them into both villains and heroes.

Kirk B. Sides recently joined the English Faculty at the University of Bristol as a Lecturer in World Literatures in English. Before this he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Institute for Social and Economic Research in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kirk holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research argues for new approaches to thinking about race in relation to both climate change and to the environment in African literature and film. Currently he is working on a book manuscript entitled Writing the Land: Race and the Ecological Imaginary in African Literature. Forthcoming is a co-edited volume  Achille Mbembe about the online publication The Johannesburg Salon.

Part of Africa Writes Pop-Up: Bristol – the festival presenting an exciting series of events celebrating contemporary African literature and thought, 6-7 October. With book launches, film screenings, discussions, family activities, workshops, and a poetry night, the festival brings you a vibrant programme showcasing the best new writing from the continent and the diaspora.