Turin dedicates a full retrospective to Haile Gerima’s films


Knowing the past to build the future

The complete retrospective of Haile Gerima films (born in Ethiopia, to Gondar in 1946, in 1967 to be in the United States with a scholarship for the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago; in 1969 he moved to Los Angeles and joined the theater school , film and television at UCLA (University of Los Angeles), and in the mythical “of blacks directors School of Los Angeles”) by Daniela Ricci, it is the second stage of the National film Archive project Resistance Visions of the repressed. The cinematic gaze on Italian colonialism.

The filmmaker Haile Gerima there is an opportunity to continue the critical reading of the Italian colonial past and to address some of the burning questions of the present as racism, war and discrimination. The enhancement of archival materials, including the film memory, leads us Gerima to subvert the look on the history of Italian colonialism and beyond.

A prominent figure of the cinema of Africa and African American, referring to independent cinema, the Ethiopian Gerima was among the founders of the “blacks of directors School of Los Angeles,” the fervent movement in the 70s experimented with new aesthetic, breaking through the narrative and production logic Hollywood. The work of him stems from the urgency of rage against all forms of oppression-whether colonial, feudal, racial, social or cultural. Exploring the present, the past and the relationship with the roots, to reconstruct the history of a people as a cure against alienation, his camera becomes a weapon of resistance and struggle for memory, and reminds us that the Cinema is a powerful tool to decolonize the minds, redefine the concept of hospitality and experience what Angela Davis has called global membership.

Visions of the repressed. The Haile Gerima film is the first comprehensive retrospective of the director in Italy and, in addition to presenting all Gerima film – some of them unpublished in Italy – will offer a preview of the work in progress of Black Lions, Roman Wolves / The Children of Adwa.

This memory documentary, which Gerima has worked for decades, is conceived as the result of Adwa, an African Victory, to tell the answer of the Ethiopian people against the fascist army in 1935. It tells the invasion collective trauma but also tenacious resistance that later led to independence. At the assembly, the testimonies and memories of survivors of war in Ethiopia (1935-1936) are interwoven with archival footage with the secular folklore, war songs, poems of praise. The projection will show the first hour of this long process which includes the experience of the director’s father.

All the screenings of the retrospective will be held at Cinema Massimo (Via Verdi 18), with the exception of the work in progress of Black Lions, Roman Wolves / The Children of Adwa to be presented Thursday, May 26 at the ‘900 Polo – Conference room (corso Valdocco 4 / a), followed by a dialogue with Haile Gerima with the participation Shirikiana Aina, Mohamed Challouf, Maria Coletti, Leonardo De Franceschi, Fartun Mohamed Farah Polato, Daniela Ricci, Greg Thomas, Alessandro Triulzi, Maria Viarengo , Dagmawi Yimer.

After Turin, Haile Gerima present Black Lions, Roman Wolves / The Children of Adwa in Vienna, Marseille and, in July, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The exhibition and the presence of the director Torino is a very important event not only for those interested in the cinema, and in particular to African independent cinema, but more generally for anyone who is sensitive to the issue of human rights, to their defense and to ‘ Other welcoming.

The initiative was made possible thanks to funding received from ANCR under the special project funded by the Ministry of Culture, Directorate General Cinema and Audiovisual and cooperation with the National Museum of Cinema in Turin.


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