10 years DOK.network Africa


Ten years of DOK.network Africa! Our Africa focus aims to strengthen the perception and representation of the African continent beyond short-lived headlines and stereotypes. In addition to the presentation of African documentaries, cultural exchange with and the promotion of young filmmakers from the African continent is also part of this year's DOK.fest. We look back on this series, which is unique in Germany, and develop perspectives for the future. Under the slogan “I myself am the sun” we show six selected (once again) on the big screen – films by African greats that present an overview of five decades of cinematic work “against all odds”, curated by film experts and filmmakers from East, West and Southern Africa.

The films from the DOK.network Africa Retrospective

France/Cameroon/Germany 1992, Jean-Marie Teno, 88 min., original with English subtitles

Filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno wanders the streets of Yaoundé with his companion Marie in search of Cameroonian culture. With snarky humour, Teno guides us through the complexities of colonialism and its consequences. Archive material, fictional elements and interviews combine to create a piece of film art that represents a new decolonialised aesthetic and a cinema of resistance.


Tunisia/France 1983, Férid Boughedir, 98 min., original with English subtitles

“Filming against all odds” is how the Tunisian filmmaker Ferid Boughedir characterises the work of the pioneers of African cinema. In interviews with Sembène Ousmane, Med Hondo and Safi Faye, along with clips from their film classics, he encapsulates the urgency, politics and aesthetics of the young African auteur cinema. A priceless document of film history. 


France/Burkina Faso 2011, Michel K. Zongo, 81 min., original with English subtitles

Joanny Zongo leaves his home country of Burkina Faso to find work in Côte d’Ivoire. Years later his family learns of his death. The filmmaker Michel K. Zongo sets out with his camera to find out about the life of the big brother he never knew. He finds answers on the cocoa plantations in the neighbouring country. A family quest that is more relevant today than ever.


Kenya 2019, Maia Lekow, Christopher King, 81 min., original with English subtitles

Elderly people from Kenya’s coastal region are regularly accused of witchcraft or become victims of familial violence. Traditional respect for one's elders seems to have been forgotten. Ultimately, is this about financial greed? Without rushing to judgement, the film takes the form of a personal journey to examine the phenomenon of witchcraft and paints a striking picture of a society in upheaval.


Senegal 1975, Safi Faye, 90 min., original with English subtitles

The Senegalese ethnologist and filmmaker Safi Faye sends us a filmic letter from her village: “You will live with me for a moment.” We meet Faye’s extended family, peanut farmers who are suffering from the consequences of drought and monoculture. The harvests are meagre and food is getting scarce. A study of a milieu that is poetic and highly political at the same time.


France/Chad/Germany/Qatar/Sudan 2019, Suhaib Gasmelbari, 93 min., original with English subtitles

The Sudanese filmmakers Ibrahim, Manar, Suliman and Eltayeb want to re-open an outdoor cinema, the “Revolution Theatre” in Khartoum. With creativity, humour and a love of film the old men fight against power outages, the call of the Muezzin and the authorities. An unusual insight into forgotten Sudanese film history and a declaration of love for cinema and for friendship.