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Current Films and Videos, Volume 49, no. 1 (Winter 2005)
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Compiled by David Henderson (St. Lawrence University)

Acknowledgements: St. Lawrence University Libraries for financial and technical support.

General | Africa | Americas | Asia and Oceania | Distributor Information


Ngatahi: Know the Links. 2003. Directed by Dean Hapeta (New Zealand). Distributed by Maorimusic.com. DVD, 158 mins. Parts one and two of a four-part "rapumentary" shot by Maori rap artist Dean Hapeta (Te Kupu) of Upper Hutt Posse. Moves, without narration, through music by indigenous and marginalized peoples in France, England, Canada, the United States, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Hawai'i, Australia, and Aotearoa.


Afro@Digital. 2003. Directed by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda (Congo/France). Distributed by California Newsreel. VHS and DVD, 52 mins. Documentary on the prospects for and uses of computer technology in Africa, with some attention to music technology. In English, French, Jula, and Yoruba with English subtitles.

Le silence de la forêt/The Forest. 2003. Directed by Bassek ba Kobhio and Didier Ouénangaré (Cameroon/Central African Republic/Gabon). Distributed by California Newsreel. VHS, 93 mins. Feature film focusing on the cultural disjunctures between BaAka peoples and other Africans, based on the novel of the same name by Etienne Goyemide. Stars Eriq Ebouaney, with music by Manu Dibango. In Diaka, French, and Sango with English subtitles.


Bachata: música del pueblo. 2002. Directed by Giovanni Savino (USA). Distributed by The Cinema Guild, Inc. VHS and DVD, 60 mins. Traces bachata from Santo Domingo to New York City and back. Includes interviews with and performances by Luis Segura, Luis Vargas, Frank Reyes, Blas Duran, and others, with commentary by Deborah Pacini Hernandez. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Beef. 2003. Directed by Peter Spirer (USA). Distributed by Image Entertainment. DVD, 103 mins. Documentary on MC battles in performance and on the street. Narrated by Ving Rhames, and featuring KRS-ONE, Kool Moe Dee, 50 Cent, DMX, Dr. Dre, and others.

Beef II. 2004. Directed by Peter Spirer (USA). Distributed by Image Entertainment. DVD, 85 mins. Focuses more on the business of hip hop battles. Narrated by Keith David, and featuring interviews with Redman, Method Man, Canibus, Cypress Hill, and others.

Cuba feliz. 2004 (2000). Directed by Karim Dridi (Cuba). Distributed by KOCH Entertainment. DVD, 93 mins. Narrative-free documentary following the 76-year-old Cuban singer-guitarist Miguel Del Morales, or "El Gallo," as he travels around the country. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Elvis: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll. 2004. Directed by Steve Bassett (USA). Distributed by Kultur. DVD, 80 mins. Focuses on the 1954-55 cross-country tour of Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black. Includes interviews with Scotty Moore and others.

Female American Rap Stars. 2004. Directed by Omar Sharif (USA). Distributed by Ardustry Home Entertainment. DVD, 85 mins. Documentary on women in hip hop, featuring interviews with Missy Elliott, Eve, MC Lyte, and others.

Heartland Reggae. 1994 (1983). Directed by Jim Lewis (USA). Distributed by Palm Beach Entertainment, Inc. VHS, 95 mins. Concert film shot in Jamaica at the Savanna-la-mar festival in 1977 and the One Love Peace Concert in 1978. Includes performances by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, U-Roy, and others.

Ilé aiyé (The House of Life). 2004 (1989). Directed by David Byrne (USA). Distributed by Plexifilm. DVD, 51 mins. Impressionistic documentary on candomblé. Includes ritual music, popular Brazilian songs influenced by candomblé, and an original score by David Byrne recorded with Brazilian musicians in Bahia and New York.

Rockers. 2000 (1977). Directed by Theodoros Bafaloukos (Jamaica). Distributed by Music Video Distributors. VHS and DVD, 90 mins. Classic reggae feature film starring Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace as a version of himself. Described by Michael Thomson of bbc.co.uk as the "kind of film where atmosphere is all, and narrative counts for little." The soundtrack includes music by Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Third World, the Heptones, Peter Tosh, and others.

Yo soy Celia Cruz. 2003 (1986). Directed by Hugo Barroso (Cuba/USA). Distributed by Marakka 2000. VHS and DVD, 51 mins. Homage to the gran diva cubana who worked with La Sonora Matancera in the 1950s and with Tito Puente and others after her move to the United States in 1960. In Spanish with no English subtitles.

Asia and Oceania

From Africa to India: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora. 2003. Produced and directed by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy. VHS, 74 mins. Distributed by Apsara Media for Intercultural Education. Survey of Afro-Indian music and dance, shot predominantly in Karnataka, Hyderabad, Bombay, and Gujarat, but with concert footage from the first international Sidi tour of England and Wales in 2002 as well.

From China's Southwest Borders: Minority Dances, Songs, and Instrumental Music of Yunnan. 2001. Recorded and edited by Li Wei and Zhang Xingrong (China). Distributed by Apsara Media for Intercultural Education. VHS, 120 mins. Two hour-length volumes, available separately, of recordings made between 1984 and 1999 by Li Wei and Zhang Xingrong of the Yunnan Art Institute in Kunming. With Chinese subtitles; accompanying English-language booklets by Helen Rees.

Distributor Information

Apsara Media for Intercultural Education
13659 Victory Boulevard, Suite #577
Van Nuys, CA 91401
fax: 818.785.1495

Ardustry Home Entertainment
21250 Califa Street, Suite 102
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
fax: 818.712.9070

California Newsreel
Order Department
PO Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407
fax: 802.846.1850

The Cinema Guild, Inc.
130 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016-7038
fax: 212.685.4717

Image Entertainment
9333 Oso Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311

KOCH Entertainment
22 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050

195 Highway 36
West Long Branch, NJ 07764

P.O. Box 38-558
Wellington Mail Centre
New Zealand
fax: 64.4.939.3843

Marakka 2000
1551 Southwest 8th Street
Miami, FL 33135
fax: 305.642.8865

Music Video Distributors

Palm Beach Entertainment, Inc.
P.O. Box 7032
Edison, NJ 08818-7032

48 Main Street, Suite 504
Brooklyn, NY 11201
fax: 718.643.7320

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