Poverty, Overpopulation, Migration - these are the images which often arise in western perceptions of the African continent. The voices of those who arrive in Europe, or even those of the people who are not emigrating, are rarely part of the discourse. But those who are leaving their home countries to start somewhere entirely new are in fact the minority. The six-part film series Leaving and Staying is focussing less on the stories of leaving, but rather on the decision to stay despite the hard life circumstances and fight for a better life on-site.
The works of African filmmakers from the 1970s till today are illustrating the lives of young people on the African continent. The decision whether to stay or to leave of course is a relevant one in their lives, but other existential questions as well.
Julien Enoka Ayemba was born and raised in Cameroon. Since many years he is working as a film scholar and film critic with a focus on African films. He curated film series amongst others for Werkstatt der Kulturen, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse and Africavenir and was a member of the Selection Committee of Berlinale Talent Campus. He is one of the founders of curators group Remember Resistance Berlin. Recently, he initiated the project Run, comrade, run, the old world is behind you - The Cinema of Med Hondo. Ayemba lives and works in Berlin.
Adama returns to Dakar from France after 15 years when he receives a telegram that his grandmother is ill - But there is nothing wrong with her and the telegram is just a means of getting him to return home. The Absence is a refreshing reflexion about the brain drain on the African continent.
Mama Keïta was born in Dakar, Senegal, to a Vietnamese mother and a Guinean father. He studied law at the University of Paris I. He has directed and produced a documentary and several long feature films, including 2009’s award-winning film The Absence.
Ladji works as a minibus driver in Malis capital Bamako. When an opportunity for advancement fails, he decides to enter the profitable drug business. With Wúlu, the young director Daouda Coulibaly contributes successfully to the debate about the connection of so-called failed states and international criminality.
Daouda Coulibaly is a director and writer, known for Tinye So (2010), Wùlu (2016) and Lonesome When You Go.
Addey works as a Lorry-Driver between the village Kukurantumi and the Ghanaian capital Accra. When he loses his job, Addey leaves for Accra, to start an own transport business there. While his daughter Abena shares his hopes for a better future, his wife remains skeptical… Kukurantumi describes the attitude and life of young adults between urban and rural space in the 1980s in Ghana.
Ade is a successful banker in London, while his half-brother Femi as a political dissident had to escape from Nigeria to South Africa. During a visit in Johannesburg, Ade discovers that Femi has been missing for a week and so he sets out to investigate. Akin Omotoso creates with his film Man on Ground convincing narratives about the conflicts between South Africans and Migrants in Post-Apartheid-South Africa.
Akin Omotoso (1974) is a Nigerian film director, writer, and actor, known for Tell Me Sweet Something (2015), Man on Ground (2011) and Blood Diamond (2006). Along with Robbie Thorpe and Kgomotso Matsunyane he founded the production company T.O.M pictures in 2003.
Years after the death of his brother, the Burkinabe filmmaker Michel Zongo is travelling to Cote d'Ivoire. Like many young men, Joanny was searching for a job in the rich neighbouring country. The director sets out to learn about Joanny's life and the circumstances of his death. Espoir Voyage is an emotional story about the disappearance of a brother in exile, but also an investigation into the history of working migration between Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
Michel K. Zongo, born in 1974 in Koudougou, Burkina Faso, is a director, cameraman and scriptwriter. From 2003 to 2008, he was responsible for the Interactive Debate-Cinema at Cinomade, an association based in Burkina Faso whose objective is to create and distribute tools to increase awareness, notably through the cinema.
Mory and Anta are dreaming of going to Paris. Mory is a shepherd, but his herds were sent to the slaughterhouse. Anta is a young student, who lives like him on the edge of society. The two young people are ready to do everything in order to save money for their journey. The film Touki Bouki is one of the most radical films of all times - not only because of its attitude towards the former colonists. It stands as an encouragement for the youth of the African continent in the 1970s.