Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Africa (South of the Sahara) Films at Ames Public Library

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Adanggaman (DVD FOREIGN ADA)  In Bambara, Baule and French, with English subtitles.  85 min.  2000. 

Ossei is a strong-willed man who sets out to rescue his mother when their village is raided. His quest leads him to the stronghold of the King Adanggaman, an arrogant despot who thrives on the slave trade and uses fierce female warriors to enforce his power. One of the warriors falls in love with Ossei, and they escape to the bush.

Africa (916 DVD AFR)  540 min.  2001. 

This epic presents Africa through the eyes of its people, conveying the beauty and diversity of the continent and the compelling personal stories of those who shape its future.

African Cats (599.757 DVD AFR)  89 min.  2011. 

This documentary is an adventure of two big cat families as they strive to make a home in an untamed land. Stunning high-definition, breathtaking images bring viewers face-to-face with the kings of the savanna and their true-life love, humor, and determination. Blending family bonds with the power and majesty of the wild, it's an exciting, awe-inspiring, and heart-touching experience.

African Footprint (DVD CONCERT AFR)  89 min.  2007. 

Over 3,500 performances fuse the rhythms of both ancient and contemporary Africa and take you on a journey of South Africa's heritage and landscape.

Bamako (DVD FOREIGN BAM)  In French and Bambara, with English captions.  117 min.  2008. 

Melé, a bar singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are on the verge of breaking up. In the courtyard of the house they share with other families in Bamako, Mali, African civil society representatives have taken proceedings against international financial institutions. As witnesses air indictments against the multinational economic machinery that haunts them, life in the courtyard presses forward.

Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors (599.938 DVD BEC)  159 min.  2009. 

Where did we come from? What makes us human? NOVA's...investigation explores new discoveries that are transforming views of our earliest ancestors. These programs bring early hominids to life, examining how we became the creative and adaptable modern humans of today. Episode 1, "Selam," documents the amazingly complete remains of a 3 million year-old child, packed with clues as to why we split from the apes, came down from the trees, and started walking upright. Episode 2 investigates the riddle of "Turkana Boy,” a tantalizing fossil of Homo erectus, the first ancestor to leave Africa and colonize the globe.

Beyond Borders (DVD DRAMA BEY)  126 min.  2003. 

At a fundraiser, Sarah hears a plea on behalf of impoverished African children delivered by a renegade humanitarian, Dr. Nick Callahan. Turning Sarah's life upside down, she abandons her pampered life to work at his side. Her work takes her to areas where few have travelled and even fewer have survived. She discovers harsh realities that ignite a passion for saving lives.

Beyond Limits (796522. DVD BEY)  40 min.  2009. 

At 19,340 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and a daunting climb for anyone. Born with cerebral palsy, Bonner Paddock, not a mountain climber and with only a few months of training, disregards his doctor's advice in the hopes of defying his condition and raising money for charity at the same time. Despite a weak lower body and spastic leg muscles, Bonner tackles Kilimanjaro head on.

Beyond the Gates (DVD DRAMA BEY)  112 min.  2007. 

In April 1994, the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda crashes and the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population. In the Ecole Technique Officielle, Christopher, a Catholic priest, and Joe Connor, an idealistic English teacher, give sanctuary to 2500 Rwandan survivors in the school, which is under the protection of the UN Belgian force and under siege from the Hutu militia. When the Tutsi refugees are abandoned by the UN, they are murdered by the extremists.

Born Free (DVD DRAMA BOR)  95 min.  1965. 

Joy Adamson and her husband, Kenya game warden George Adamson, raise Elsa, a lion cub. When Elsa is grown, Joy determines she must re-educate Elsa to living in the wild so that the lioness can return to a free life.

Breaker Morant (DVD DRAMA BRE)  107 min.  1979. 

After the brutal death of a British captain in the Boer War in South Africa in 1901, Lt. Harry Morant leads his unit in pursuit of the Boers, attacks their camp, and executes a captive.  Other executions and deaths lead to the arrest and trial of Morant and two other lieutenants.

Days of Glory (DVD FOREIGN DAY)  125 min.  2006. 

Due to prejudice and ignorance, a 1943 WWII French Algerian Unit faces discrimination by its European counterparts. The French are preparing to land troops in Europe to win back their homeland from the Axis Powers, but they cannot accomplish their task without recruiting men from their African colonies. The Africans themselves start their long journey full of hope and anticipation, but as they get closer to their goal, they realize that their enemy is not necessarily the Germans.

Diamonds of War (553.8 DVD DIA)  50 min.  2003. 

In the diamond-rich West African nation of Sierra Leone, rebels used the precious gems to bankroll a violent ten-year insurrection, leaving a terrorized population and a ravaged landscape in its wake.

Discovering Ardi (569.9 DVD DIS)  88 min.  2009. 

In 1974, Australopithecus afarensis was discovered in Hadar, northeastern Ethiopia. Nicknamed ''Lucy,'' this 3.2 million year old skeleton was, at the time, the oldest hominid skeleton ever found. Lucy's title was overtaken twenty years later by the 1994 discovery of ''Ardi'' in Ethiopia's Afar region. It took an elite international team of experts the next fifteen years to delicately, meticulously and methodically piece together Ardi and her lost world in order to reveal her significance.

Disgrace (DVD DRAMA DIS)  118 min.  2010. 

Professor David Lurie’s world is shattered when he is fired for seducing a college student. He finds peace at his estranged daughter's farm in South Africa until an incident of terror and violence forces Lurie to confront his beliefs and the disturbing racial complexities of South Africa.

District 9 (DVD SCI-FI DIS)  In English, dubbed Portuguese, or dubbed Spanish dialogue, with English, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, or Spanish captions.  112 min.  2009. 

Twenty years ago, aliens from another planet made contact with Earth. Now, the South African apartheid refugee camp they are forced to live in has deteriorated. When field operative Wikus van der Merwe must evict the aliens, he contracts a virus that changes his DNA to match theirs. As his body mutates, he becomes a hunted man, and the aliens' only hope for freedom.

Echo: an Elephant to Remember (599.67 DVD ECH) 60 min.  2010. 

Echo, the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many films and the leader of a carefully studied herd of elephants in Africa. In 2009 she died of natural causes. This remarkable animal is seen through footage and interviews with scientist Cynthia Moss, cameraman Martyn Colbeck, and the researchers that cared for and studied the herd for over 30 years.

Echo and Other Elephants: Enchanting Stories of an Elephant Family (599.67 DVD ECH)  362 min.  2008. 

Elephant expert Cynthia Moss has followed the lives of matriarch Echo and her elephant herd for over 30 years in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. The remarkable story of Echo and her clan includes battles, kidnappings, baby's first steps, and more.

Elevate (796.323 DVD ELE)  81 min.  2012. 

From the dilapidated cement courts of Senegal to American prep schools, this documentary chronicles the journeys of four tall West African Muslim boys with NBA dreams. Recruited for their physical and academic skills, Assane, Dethie, Byago and Aziz accept basketball scholarships to schools in the United States and face alienation, a foreign language, and American-style basketball.

Endgame (DVD DRAMA END)  109 min.  2009. 

Working for P. W. Botha, Dr. Neil Barnard opens talks with imprisoned Nelson Mandela. But lesser known are the secret talks that take place in a rural English manor house. Both sides may win or lose all, including their own lives. Botha learns of the British talks and, with the inevitable demise of apartheid, he intends to control the endgame by using the tactics of divide and rule. Against all the odds, a precious arena of frail trust between the two warring parties is achieved.

Faith like Potatoes (DVD DRAMA FAI)  115 min.  2006. 

In this film based on the autobiography of Angus Buchan, a farmer moves his family to South Africa and suffers a series of seemingly insurmountable losses. Through unlikely friendships and much needed divine intervention, he discovers his life's true purpose and it sustains his unwavering belief in the power of faith.

Final Solution (DVD DRAMA FIN)  107 min.  2002. 

In South Africa, Gerrit Wolfaardt has been taught that blacks are a cancer in the land. He plans to rid “his” country of its "black danger." Before his plans can be carried out, he meets Celeste, an open-minded University student, and Peter, a pastor who challenges Gerrit's prejudice. When he realizes that he is wrong, he seeks reconciliation between whites and blacks.

Flame Trees of Thika (DVD DRAMA FLA)  353 min.  1981. 

A young girl and her parents journey to the unspoiled wilderness of East Africa in 1913 where they struggle to transform a rugged plot of land into a farm.

A Force More Powerful: a Century of Nonviolent Conflict (303.61 DVD FOR)  174 min.  2000. 

This six-part series tells one of the 20th century's most important and least-known stories − how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule. In South Africa in 1907, Mohandas Gandhi led Indian immigrants in a nonviolent fight for rights denied them by white rulers. The power that Gandhi pioneered has been used by underdogs on every continent and in every decade of the 20th century to fight for their rights and freedom.

The Four Feathers (DVD ACTION FOU)  115 min.  1939. 

With cannon fire igniting the North African skies, the British cavalry charges into battle to capture the strategic city of Khartoum. In the midst of the devastating carnage, a horrified officer resigns from his post. But he soon finds his shame is greater than his fear, and he returns to save his honor - and the friends he betrayed - at any cost.

The Ghost and the Darkness (DVD ACTION GHO)  110 min.  1996. 

Two lions on a man-eating rampage have shut down railway construction in 1896 East Africa. The beasts hunt together, showing no fear. What's more, they're killing for sport rather than for food – and they have a knack for avoiding traps. Big-game hunter Remington and construction engineer Patterson set out to stop them, but the hunters become the hunted.

Ghosts of Rwanda (967.571 DVD GHO)  115 min.  2004. 

Through interviews with key government officials, diplomats, soldiers, and survivors, this documentary examines the 1994 state-sponsored Rwanda genocide. The international community and the United States did not intervene as Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 Tutsis.

Gorillas in the Mist: the Adventure of Dian Fossey (DVD DRAMA GOR)  129 min.  1988. 

This is the true story of Dian Fossey’s study of African mountain gorillas and her efforts to keep the endangered apes safe.

The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II (DVD COMEDY GOD)  205 min.  2004. 

Sho, who lives in the Kalahari Desert, encounters technology for the first time – in the shape of a Coke bottle. He takes it to his people, and they use it for many tasks. When the people start to fight over it, he decides to return it to God – where he thinks it came from. In the sequel, Sho’s children stow away on a poachers' truck, and he must rescue them.

Honey & Ashes (DVD FOREIGN HON)  In French and Arabic, with English captions.  80 min.  1996. 

The lives of three Tunisian women, united only by the treatment of their gender by their countrymen, intersect in this drama that quietly protests the continued oppression of women in North African Moslem countries.

Hotel Rwanda (DVD DRAMA HOT)  122 min.  2004. 

This is the deeply moving true story of Paul Rusesabagina, manager of a 5-star hotel, who in 1994 used his wits and words to house (and save) over 1200 Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

The Human Family Tree (569.9 DVD HUM)  96 min.  2009. 

Geneticist Spencer Wells and a team from National Geographic's Genographic Project trace the human journey through time, from our origins in the heart of Africa to the ends of the world. Cutting edge science, coupled with a cast of New Yorkers − each with their own unique genetic history − helps paint a picture of these journeys. The film answers who we are and where we come from and forces us to change our thinking about our relationships with our neighbors, and ourselves.



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