Not Yet Kenyan | Film Investigates Al Shabab & the Somali-Kenyan Divide


An Al Jazeera documentary takes an in-depth look at the grievances that Kenyan-Somalis have toward the Kenyan government and how Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab is taking advantage of this to establish a foothold in the region.

Not Yet Kenyan, filmed just before the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, exposes how Al Shabaab militants and their sympathizers have carried out a series of attacks in North Eastern Kenya to test the resolve of Kenya’s security system before bringing their campaign of violence to the capital.

In the documentary, Al Jazeera correspondent Mohammed Adow travels to his hometown of Garissa in Kenya’s North East Province to investigate the escalating violence caused by serious insecurity in the region. Mohammed asserts that the horrific massacre at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, although shocking, was not surprising. Following Kenya’s invasion of Somalia in 2011 there have been more than 100 revenge attacks in the country by al Shabaab and its sympathizers.

The KDF operation in Somalia was named ‘Linda Nchi’- Kiswahili for protect the nation. But residents of this part of the country have not been protected, leaving them to suffer at the hands of both the militants and Kenyan security forces whenever attacks occurred.

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Al Jazeera Documentaries to Investigate the French-African Connection


On Thursdays during August and September, Al Jazeera will screen three documentary series (The French-African Connection, Black France and Algeria: The Test of Power) that spotlight the complex and topical relationship between France and Africa.

In January 2013, France responded to Mali’s request for assistance by launching a military intervention in Mali to prevent the Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups from taking control of the country. Is France pursuing a neo-colonial policy? Is it continuing “Françafrique,” the term coined to define France’s relationships with its former African colonies in which it supported unpopular African politicians for the sake of its economic interests in the region?

In a recent visit to Dakar, French president Francois Hollande declared the end of the “Françafrique” era. But is that really the case?


The French-African Connection

The French-African Connection which premiered on Thursday, 8 August 2013,  is a gripping three-part series that tells the dark and dramatic history of France’s relationships with its former African colonies.

The French-African Connection is a brutal and nefarious tale of corruption; massacres; dictators supported and progressive leaders murdered; weapons-smuggling; cloak-and-dagger secret services; and spectacular military operations. The series includes interviews with former oil barons; investigating judges into corruption scandals; former French ambassadors to African states; former French secret services; African presidents; and Francois Mitterand’s son.

The second and third episodes will premiere on 15 and 22 August respectively.

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The Banning of African Film | South 2 North

south to north

Films always come when everything is over. Why? Why can’t cinema be there even before the problems, to reflect what is happening, so we can fix it? I really think right now we have forgotten the very nature of cinema in the first place. Cinema is not neutral.

– Jean-Pierre Bekolo

On Al Jazeera’s global talk show South 2 North, Redi Tlhabi speaks to three film directors in the aftermath of South Africa’s Film and Publication Board banning Of Good Report, the opening night movie at Durban International Film Festival.

Of Good Report director Jahmil Qubeka joins Cameroon’s Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Le President) and Angola’s João Viana (The Battle of Tabatô ) in South 2 North’s Johannesburg studio. 


Director Jahmil Qubeka

Of Good Report was banned for allegedly showing ‘child pornography.’ Jahmil describes the psychological thriller as “your classical tale of lust, shameful lust…,” saying that it’s about a teacher who becomes obsessed with his student “to a point where he cannot see that he’s obsessed with a child.” While agreeing that child pornography should be banned, Jahmil says Of Good Report is rather “making an indictment… For teenagers this a horror film. I want kids, particularly girls, to watch this and I want to scare them.”

Qubeka managed to get the banning over-turned and is also proceeding with a defamation case against the Film and Publication Board of South Africa.

Reflecting on the effects of the ban, he says,

I’m not sad for me. This has turned me into a superstar. My life has changed in a week. I’ve been in Variety magazine…three times. What I am sad for is my nation because my nation was refused the right to see the film. Self reflection is the only way you can develop. We are the mirrors of our society… If we are living in an age where our government is putting down draconian policies that don’t allow self-reflection, instead we showcase a world that is actually not real, so how will we get to a place of seeing where we are?

Calling his role as a filmmaker “a privilege” he also describes film as “the definitive artform of the 21st century.” Watch this short interview where Qubeka elaborates further on his criticism of the Film Board’s decision:

Le President was sidelined in Cameroon earlier this year because Jean-Pierre’s film discussed the end of 80-year-old President Paul Biya’s reign – a topic that is taboo in the country,

He was minister in 1962; Barack Obama was one year old. He’s been there forever…You don’t have to be a genius to think that an 80-year-old man can go one day.


Director Jean-Pierre Bekolo

Pointing out that “everyone will give me money to make a film once the president is gone to say how bad he was,” he says he would rather made the film now “to anticipate and start a conversation about what will happen when he leaves or if he leaves…When you see the Congo, the Cote D’Ivoire, these are presidents who stay in power (very long) and then you have 20 years of war afterwards.”

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Call For Entries | Al Jazeera Pitching Forum at Encounters


Still from Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man by Mayenzeke Baza

On Saturday 15 June 2013 in Cape Town, two commissioning editors from Al Jazeera will listen to pitches from 16 African filmmakers. Each person has a maximum of five minutes to pitch their film, with an  additional 10 minutes allocated for feedback and questions from the panel. Visual aids will be provided for those that have DVDs or presentations during the pitch.

This is the second year in a row that Al Jazeera has hosted a pitching session during Encounters. In 2012, Mayenzeke Baza pitched Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man, which went on to screen on Al Jazeera earlier this year.

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Football Rebels: Didier Drogba


Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba is the focus of the first episode of Football Rebels, which premiered on Al Jazeera on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 22:30 GMT.

Presented and narrated by former Manchester United star Eric Cantona, Football Rebels is a five-part documentary on five football heroes whose social consciences led them to use their fame and influence to challenge unjust regimes, join opposition movements and lead the fight for democracy and human rights in their countries.

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