|Haile Gerima honored for his film Teza|
Riz Khan interviews one of my favorite pan-Afrikan djeliw (singular djeli. Bamana/Bambara word for traditional oral historian/musician. Also known as "griot"), Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima. I can still recall the anticipation and gratitude in the African American community for Gerima's groundbreaking film Sankofa (from the Akan: Sɛ wo werɛ fi na wosan kɔfa a, yenkyi- colloquially, go back to your Afrikan roots). I also recall with pride the collective effort to spread the word about Gerima's project.
In the interview Baba Haile talks about the intersection of white supremacy and the mainline film industry. He specifically mentions how the industry insists on thrusting prominent white characters on projects even when the narrative is not centrally about white people. In other words that mainline movie industry is a form of psychological warfare in the service of white supremacy. Gerima also talks about filmic resistance or Third-World filmmaking--that is, independent filmmaking that stays true to the worldview, politics, needs and aspirations of the oppressed (Sam Greenlee calls it "guerrilla cinema").
Baba Haile also discusses his experiences with racism in America and how those experiences led him to a deeper understanding of African American struggle. Gerima concludes the interview saying that he would "like to be [remembered as] a symbol of resistance." His legacy is assured. Every black/Afrikan person, indeed every progressive person,
• Part 1 of Haile Gerima interview
• Part 1 of Sankofa
• Sam Greenlee interview. Baba Greenlee produced the Afro-cult hit The Spook Who Sat by the Door.
Haile Gerima interview, Part 1. If viewing from Facebook, click here.
Sankofa, Part 1 (You can view Sankofa in its entirety on YouTube, but think the poster omitted at least one segment). If viewing from Facebook, click here.
Sam Greenlee--"If you wanna be a rich hoe, go to Hollywood." This interview is available on the remastered 30th anniversary ed. of Spook. If viewing from Facebook, click here.
Tags: chicago, ethiopia, ghetto film notes, guerilla cinema, Haile Gerima, media, resistance, Sam Greenlee, third world, white supremacy
image source: funky square and dcabesha