Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Inaugural event to screen films about modern-day issues in Africa

The Bama Theatre will host its inaugural Evening of African Film Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. and showcase three different movies with the hope that the cultural experience will become a yearly tradition.

“This is the premiere night of what will become an annual film festival in Tuscaloosa,” said Dr. Thaddeus Ulzen, associate dean of the College of Community Health Sciences.

The screening of the films is co-sponsored by the College of Community Health Sciences and the department of race and gender studies at The University of Alabama.

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Bill Foster, the co-coordinator of the Evening of African Film, said the premiere is more than just a showing of movies.

“We have an opportunity to share culture and issues going on in other parts of the world that people are living with,” Foster said. “Many of our brothers and sisters are from the parts of Africa shown in the films. It’s a way of saying they we share our issues and problems and we can get through them together.”

To begin the festival, the short film “Farewell Exile” will be screened first. The 15 minute film was originally produced in 2011.

“Farewell Exile” was directed by Lamia Alami and is set in an underprivileged neighborhood in Morocco. The film tells the story of a woman named Fatima and her 10-year-old son, Mohammad. Fatima is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her immigration papers, so that she can escape her dangerous surroundings and join her husband who is living in France.

The second film screened will be “Africa United.” Directed by Deborah “Debs” Gardner-Paterson, “Africa United” tells the story of three Rwandan children, and focuses on the message of HIV prevention, mixed with humor and adventure.

“The audience will learn a lot about modern-day Africa and some of the issues that people are living in,” Foster said. “They will learn a lot about the other part of the world that they are not exposed to as much.”

The evening will conclude with a final film titled “Monica Wangu Wamwere – The Unbroken Spirit.” Directed by Jane Murago, “The Unbroken Spirit” is a documentary of a woman living in Kenya named Monica Wangu Wamwere. The documentary follows Wamwere as a human rights activist in Kenya, fighting to release her sons from jail, who have been convicted as political prisoners.

Wamwere participated in the 1992 Mothers’ Hunger Strike, which was a campaign to release political prisoners from imprisonment.

“I watched this movie when I was in high school,” Catherine Davis, a freshman majoring in finance, said. “You really learn about issues going on in Africa that people in American hardly ever hear about on the news.”

Before the screening of the films, there will be a reception at 6 p.m. featuring African crafts as well as art that can be purchased in the lobby.

General admission for the film screenings will be $10 and $6 for students and children. For more information, visit

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