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AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange

Dear Mandela (#502)

Destroyed homes, threats at gunpoint and high-court action, this battle by three young people to stand up for their rights is a testimony to people power. When the South African government promises to "eradicate the slums" and begins to evict shack dwellers far outside the city, three friends who live in Durban's vast shantytowns refuse to be moved. Dear Mandela follows their journey from their shacks to the highest court in the land as they invoke Nelson Mandela's example and become leaders in a growing social movement. By turns inspiring, devastating and funny, the film offers a new perspective on the role that young people can play in political change and is a fascinating portrait of South Africa coming of age. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

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Series Description: AFROPOP: THE ULTIMATE CULTURAL EXCHANGE, the innovative documentary series on contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora. Four films introduce powerful stories: African boxers journey across the Atlantic to match their skills against the best in the world; a teenage girl travels to Ghana and an expatriate from Sierra Leone returns to his homeland, each hoping to dispel prevailing myths about the two countries; and, Hurricane Katrina victims find themselves refugees in their own country.

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  • Ten Days In Africa (#101)

    Regi Allen visits 3 West African countries and explores the complexities surrounding black identity. [56 minutes]

  • Welcome to Nollywood (#102)

    Interviews and behind-the-scenes footage provide a look at the blossoming Nigerian movie industry. [56 minutes]

  • Being Pavarotti (#103)

    Meet a 13 year-old who sings opera in a seaside town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. [56 minutes]

  • Hip Hop Revolution (#104)

    A generation is inspired to question and conquer an unjust political system by the hip-hop culture. [56 minutes]

  • Mix (#105)

    Two female hip-hop disc jockeys express themselves in ways that genuinely baffle their parents. [56 minutes]

  • We Will Not Die Like Dogs (#106)

    AIDS activists from the African countries of Nigeria, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Zambia are profiled. [56 minutes]

  • The Fighting Spirit (#201)

    Three boxers in a poor area of Ghana battle their way to the glittering rings of Europe and the U.S. [56 minutes]

  • Desert Bayou (#202)

    The story of African Americans airlifted to Utah by the US government during Hurricane Katrina. [57 minutes]

  • Black to Our Roots (#203)

    A 17-year-old girl travels to her ancestral home in Ghana to escape a cycle of poverty in Atlanta. [57 minutes]

  • Moving to the Beat (#204)

    Explore how youth in Africa and America use hip hop music as a language for social change. [56 minutes]

  • Haiti: One Day, One Story/The Other Side of the Water: The Journey of Haitan Ra Ra Band (#301)

    Haiti: One Day, One Story - Haitian-American filmmaker Michele Stephenson visits Haiti six weeks after one of the world's most devastating earthquakes to document the personal stories of the Haitian people. The Other Side of the Water: The Journey of Haitan Ra Ra Band - On Sunday nights during the summer, thousands of people gather in Brooklyn's Prospect Park to watch a motley band of young musicians carrying traditional drums, bamboo tubes and four-foot-long pressed-tin horns. They play Ra Ra music - a mix of Carnival, vodou ceremony and grassroots protest - which originally served as a voice for the slaves in their revolt against the French and of those struggling against ongoing dictatorships in Haiti. This documentary focuses on Pe Yves, the leader of the Ra Ra movement in New York, who is caught in the middle of a struggle for the meaning of Haitian identity. [82 minutes]

  • 125 Franco's Boulevard/Nora (#302)

    125 Franco's Boulevard - For 40 years, Franco the Great used his talents to paint murals on the storefront roll-down gates on 125th Street in Harlem. Re-zoning legislation and a recently passed city law threaten to remove these gates, along with the art and culture painted on them. Who will step up and preserve Franco's art in the wake of big plans to change Harlem? Nora - "Nora" is based on true stories of Nora Chipaumire, a dancer born in Zimbabwe in 1965. In the film, Nora returns to the landscape of her childhood and journeys through some vivid memories of her youth: family dramas, difficult love affairs and militant politics. Using performance and dance, she brings her history to life in a swiftly moving poem of sound and image. Shot entirely on location in Southern Africa. [56 minutes]

  • Riseup (#303)

    "Rise Up: Reggae Underground" follows some up and coming musical voices in Jamaica's music scene. Some will make it, but various reasons that reveal much about the economic struggles and class distinctions in Jamaica, others will not. [56 minutes]

  • Uprooted & Sanza Hanza (#304)

    The film journeys into the streets, back alleys, crowded dancehalls and countryside of Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music. In a society with abundant talent but scarce opportunity, three distinct and courageous artists fight to rise up from obscurity and write themselves into the pages of history. [56 minutes]

  • Mrs. Goundo's Daughter (#305)

    The African ritual of female genital cutting prompts one young Malian mother to seek asylum in the United States to protect her two-year-old daughter from the pain and sometimes horrific health consequences of the practice. "Mrs. Goundo's Daughter" bridges the mother's two worlds - the largely Islamic West African village and her adopted home in Philadelphia. Throughout, the film gives equal time to activists fighting to end the practice and traditionalists trying to defend it. [56 minutes]

  • Everyday Sunshine (#401)

    From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. Telling it like it is, the iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates EVERYDAY SUNSHINE, a story about music, history, fear, courage and funking on the one. At the heart of the film's story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling out of pride, desperation and love for their art. [86 minutes]

  • Burning in the Sun (#402)

    Burning in the Sunfollows the journey of a young social entrepreneur on a quest to electrify the rural households in his native country of Mali. Looking to make his mark on the world, 26-year-old Daniel Dembele decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels, the first of its kind in the sun-drenched nation. The film traces Dembele's journey from growing the budding idea into a viable company to servicing his first customers in the tiny village of Banko. [56 minutes]

  • That's My Face (#403)

    Documentarian Thomas Allen Harris journeys to Africa and Brazil on a quest to find his spiritual ancestors. Reared in both the Bronx and Tanzania, Harris documents his own struggles with cultural identity while investigating the broader issues of race in the United States, Africa and South America. [56 minutes]

  • Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle (#404)

    Calypso Rose, the ambassador of Caribbean music, is a living legend, a charismatic character and the uncontested diva of calypso. Cameras follow Rose from Paris to her native Tobago, then to New York where she lives, and back to her ancestral homeland, Africa. Each place reveals another face and facet of the complex woman behind the public persona. [56 minutes]

  • An African Election (#405)

    AN AFRICAN ELECTION grants viewers unprecedented access to the anatomy of Ghana's 2008 presidential elections. Capturing the intrigue of electioneering, the intensity of the vote-counting process, and the mood of the countrymen whose fate lies precariously in the balance, director Jarreth Merz's coverage unfolds with all the tension of a political thriller, revealing the emotions, passions, and ethical decisions that both threaten-and maintain-the integrity of the democratic process. [86 minutes]

  • A Lot Like You (#501)

    Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her retired father moves back to Tanzania, Eliaichi begins a project that evocatively examines the intricate fabric of multiracial identity, and grapples with the complex ties that children have to the cultures of their parents. Kimaro decides to document her father's path back to his family and Chagga culture. In the process, she learns more deeply about the heritage that she took for granted as a child. Yet as she talks to more family members, especially her aunts, she uncovers a cycle of sexual violence that resonates with her work and life in the United States. When Kimaro speaks with her parents about the oppression that her aunts face, she faces a jarring disconnect between immigrant generations on questions of patriarchy and violence. [56 minutes]

  • Stolen (#504)

    In 2007, Ayala and Fallshaw were drawn to the cause of the Polisario Liberation Front, which represents the Sahrawi people, who have long struggled for control of the Western Sahara against the competing interests of Morocco and other factions. Once they started shooting, however, they gradually stumbled on a story about modern slavery that has become hugely controversial. The filmmakers focused on a black woman in her thirties named Fetim Sellami, who is reunited with her mother through a United Nations program. [56 minutes]

  • Doin' It in the Park: Pick Up Basketball-Nyc (#601)

    The one-hour documentary visits 180 city basketball courts throughout New York City's five boroughs to uncover the world of pick-up basketball. Playground legends, NBA athletes and everyday players tell the story and show off their athleticism (and trash-talking) on local basketball courts. [56 minutes]

  • Upaj: Improvise (#602)

    Sixty-eight-year-old artist Das exemplifies the elegance and mathematical precision of kathak, a classical dance of North India. Jason, a 32-year- old African-American tap dancer, hails from the freestyle, street-wise American tradition of contemporary tap. The two join forces and an unlikely friendship develops that bridges continents, generations, cultures and communities. [56 minutes]

  • War Don Don (#603)

    The 90-minute film puts international justice in the spotlight. In the aftermath of the Sierra Leone civil war and massacre, Issa Sesay awaits his trial in the UN International Special Court, located in the heart of Freetown. Prosecutors call Sesay a war criminal, while his defenders brand him a reluctant fighter. [86 minutes]

  • Stories from Lakka Beach (#604)

    After the civil war in Sierra Leone, many visitors now stay away from the picturesque beach village of Lakka. Five villagers share their stories of life on the ocean, of living off the land, and of war, love and religion as they try to convince tourists to visit a nation still healing from a devastating war. [56 minutes]

  • Boys of Summer (#605)

    The Curacao youth baseball team faces injuries and obstacles as they try to maintain their winning streak at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn. Team manager Vernon Isabella and his players also learn the meaning of national pride while travelling from a humble ball field in the Caribbean to the international spotlight and back. [86 minutes]

  • The Deported (#606)

    The film follows a group of men, raised in the United States or Canada, and repatriated to Haiti for crimes ranging from violent assaults to driving violations and petty theft. Faced with a language and culture they do not understand, the men struggle to adapt to a new and unfamiliar country hostile to their presence. The deportee's families, meanwhile, grapple with anxiety, blame and regret. [56 minutes]

  • The Carrier (#701)

    "The Carrier" follows the compelling story of Mutinta, an HIV-positive and pregnant mother in Zambia trying to protect her unborn child from HIV/AIDS. [56 minutes]

  • Ladies' Turn (#702)

    In Senegal, a non-profit organization uses soccer as a powerful tool for promoting gender equality, presenting new female role models, and helping women and girls develop important leadership and teamwork skills. [56 minutes]

  • Sound of Torture (#703)

    Follow the efforts of Swedish-Eritrean journalist Meron Estefanos as she helps aid Eritreans kidnapped, held hostage and tortured in Egypt's Sinai Desert by Bedouin smugglers. [56 minutes]

  • The Triptych (#704)

    The Triptych is a unique and profound documentary series profiling some of the most outspoken visual artists of our time. This short-film series highlights the work of artists Sanford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu, and Barron Claiborne. Three intimate 25-minute conversations reflect on their life experience, letting the viewer discover how their observations have shaped the art they create. [56 minutes]

  • The Abominable Crime (#705)

    Two Jamaicans - a young single mother and a leading human-rights activist - must flee their homeland in the face of endemic anti-gay violence. Their stories expose the roots of homophobia in Jamaican society, reveal the deep psychological and social impacts of discrimination on the lives of gays and lesbians, and offer an intimate first-person perspective on the risks and challenges of seeking asylum abroad. [86 minutes]

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