The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History will be presenting two Afro-Surrealist films:
Umkhungo (The Gift)
Dir: Matthew Jankes/Feature Short/South Africa/English/29 min./2010
Set in the slums of Hillbrow, Umkhungo tells the story of Themba, a young boy shrouded since birth by paranormal events; most say haunted by ancestors. When his mother is murdered, Themba is rescued by a disillusioned street criminal, Mthunzi, who reluctantly finds himself responsible for this extraordinary child. Mthunzi, haunted by his own past and the disappearance of his brother, sets out to profit from the child. Yet the mystery surrounding the boy deepens. Themba and Mthunzi soon learn that Themba’s curse is in fact not a curse, it is a gift; a truly remarkable one–not the least a powerful one.
The Last Angel of History
Dir: John Akomfrah/Documentary/United Kingdom/English/45 min./1995
An examination of the relationships between music, Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and computer technology. This cinematic essay posits science fiction (with tropes such as alien abduction, estrangement and genetic engineering) as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation and otherness. Included are interviews with black cultural figures, from musicians DJ Spooky, Goldie, and Derek May, who discuss the importance of George Clinton to their own music, to George Clinton himself.