Film Program 2022

Who's Got the Power? - Program 2022

We screened and discussed these films as part of the film series in 2022.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Thomas Letellier

La Pirogue - 28 April 2022 

A film by Moussa Touré. France, Senegal, Germany, 2011 (87 minutes), multilingual with German subtitles.

Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht, Förderverein Filmkultur (FFK) and Abdelkader Al Ghouz, BCDSS                       

Talk: Sigrid Limprecht (FFK), Boluwatife Akinro and further BCDSS representatives and the audience

Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing full-well the dangers that lie ahead. Leading a group of 30 men who don't all speak the same language, some of whom have never seen the sea, Baye Laye will confront many perils in order to reach the distant coasts of Europe.

Food for thought
The film makes us question contemporary dependencies in the context of migration: What nurtures the dreams of a better future in Europe that tempts people into risking their lives? In which way is migration gendered? Is there such a thing as migrant economy? Who is the beneficiary? Why are the current deadly migration policies still in place? 

"Everybody has the right of freedom of movement, as set in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, for many human beings today, there is neither the possibility of safe and legal migration nor of a secure future in their countries of citizenship . The film focuses on Senegalese citizens who decide to leave for Spain by boat. Many human beings lose their lives at the European border every year. According to the UNITED List of Refugee Deaths, 44,764 people died between 1993–2021 in relation to EU policy - most probably thousands more are never found. La Pirogue shows one of the attempts to reach Europe with a deep understanding of the passengers' feelings, choices and dreams."

(Katja Girr, Doctoral Researcher at the BCDSS)
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Sergio Leyva Seiglie

We the Cimarrons - 30 June 2022

A film by Emma Christopher. Colombia, Australia, 2021 (53 minutes), original with English subtitles.

Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht, Förderverein Filmkultur, and Emma Christopher, film director & BCDSS Fellow 

Talk: Graciano Caicedo, Leader of the Yurumangui River Community (via Zoom) and the audience

In the River Yurumangui in Pacific Colombia, its people still identify as 'cimarrons,' or  fugitives from slavery, in honor of their rebel ancestors. Today they are deliberately using this heritage to address the threats they face: environmental destruction, drug trafficking and armed conflict.

Food for thought
These Pacific Black communities won the right to consider their lands ancestral in 1993 and became semi-autonomous within the Colombian State seven years later. However, they are not free people. They are exposed to a strong asymmetrical power struggle against legal and illegal forces. Did dependency make them more vulnerable? How can they escape?

Colombia's Pacific river communities, stretching along the coast between Buenaventura and Tumaco, are unique research environments, inhabited by people descended from enslaved forefathers who have lived as distinct populations for generations. Their ancestors were brought to mine gold but, with little day-to-day supervision, many managed to secure some degree of independence. Those in the Yurumanguí River, in which We the Cimarróns is set, are descendants of a slave rebellion in 1810 led by King Pascal I of the Yurumaguí.

Despite becoming semi-autonomous within the Colombian state more than 20 years ago, today their independence is as parlous as ever. Most of the rivers of Pacific Colombia have been taken over by illegal gold mining, overlogging, and coca cultivation/drug trafficking, and the Yurumanguí's fight against this fate puts them in the crosshairs of brutal armed conflicts. It is a battle they see as a sacred duty, part of the same wars their ancestors fought. They continue to call themselves cimarróns, as they always have, and term the villages of the Yurumanguí 'palenques.' After all, the Valencia and Mosquera families, once their ancestors’ owners, retain power, while they fight for survival. We the Cimarróns is a study in inter-generational dependency long after the end of slavery.

(Emma Christopher, film director and BCDSS Fellow)
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Sebastian Lessel / International Silent Movie Festival Bonn

Silent Movie - August 2022

A film screening and post-screening talk is planned as part of the extended program of the Bonn International Silent Film Festival in August 2022. 

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Mira Nair

Salaam Bombay - 24 November 2022 

A film by Mira Nair. India, 1988 (120 minutes), original (Hindi) with German subtitles. 

Introduction: Sigrid Limprecht, Förderverein Filmkultur and BCDSS representative

Talk: Claudia Jarzebowski & further BCDSS representatives and the audience

Ten-year-old Krishna is cast out from his home. He is not allowed to return home until he has earned 500 rupees. To get the money, he works in a circus. One day the circus moves on without him as Krishna runs errands. With his last money he buys a ticket to the next bigger city - Bombay. There he gets caught up in the red-light district: police, brothels, drug dealing, the world of cinema fantasies, and children everywhere who, like him, are fighting to survive.

Food for thought
The movie engages with varying forms of asymmetrical relationships that are forced primarily upon children and women. They are pushed to megacity by various factors but mainly by poverty. Here, the city is not just a place of arrival, it becomes a dreamscape. People initially conceive it as a place of hope; hence the allure of (push towards) the city. However, soon after their arrival, they end up bound in extreme forms of asymmetrical relationships such as in brothels or slums where their lives further unravel. As a social formation, like villages, the city has its underlying logic of patriarchy and casteism which deeply structure people’s lives. The movie clearly portrays how people are forced into extreme forms of asymmetrical dependencies. Money, men, and power are inextricably connected to the lives of the socially destitute and deprivations flourish, while those on the streets become interchangeable.

(Jahfar Shareef Pokkanali, Doctoral Researcher at the BCDSS)

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