african drama


Moonlight (2016)

Directed by Barry Jenkins

Cinematography by James Laxton



The Muhammad Ali dynasty was the kingdom of Egypt and Sudan that ruled from the 19th - 20th century. It was founded by Muhammad Ali(descendant of Hatice Sultan, daughter of Ahmed III), a commander of the Ottoman Empire, who drove the French out of Egypt. He then forced the then Ottoman Sultan, Mahmud III to recognize him as Wāli or Governor of Egypt. He had grander ambitions and took the title of Khedive. The dynasty stayed a Khedive (1867 - 1914) from then transitioned to a Sultanate (1914 - 1922), and then finally a Kingdom (1922 - 1953)

The last ruler was Fuad II of Egypt who came into power at 7 months old after his father Farouk I abdicated. With a total of 11 rulers, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty was overthrown with the deposition of the Egyptian monarchy in 1952, during the 1952 Revolution and the establish of the Egyptian Republic. 

To this day the Muhammad Ali dynasty still has an effect, from discussing the Golden Age of Egyptian cinema during this reign, the potential marriage of Oum Kalthoum to the King’s uncle, or the beauty of Princess Fawzia. Though it is controversial to some, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty is one of the few dynasties that will never be forgotten. 

Amharic movies and shows

Hey everyone. I’ve been watching a lot of Amharic shows and movies lately and I wanted to share them with you guys. I made a list of my favorites but I’ve also added the ones I’m planning to watch later. I’ll update this list as i watch more.


ጉዲፈቻ - adopted

ሰማያዊ ፈረስ (blue horse) 

የወደዱ ሰሞን

ደስ የሚል ስቃይ (beautiful torture)


የኛ (ours)

የሌባ ልጅ (a thief’s child)

አስከሬኑ - (deceased) 

ሀኒሙን (honeymoon)

ኀረየት (hareyet)

ሰርፕራይዝ (surprise)

ኤሽታኦል (eshtaol)

ፍቅርና ፌስቡክ (love & facebook)



ገመና (privacy) - this one is about a young woman who pretends to be a maid in order to spy on families private life. She encounters different kinds of people in each house. From devilish woman to family that worships satan to a man who makes money off prostitutes. This is an old show but a great one. I highly recommend.

ዘመን (time) 

በቀናት መካከል (in between days)

ወላፈን (flames) 


የቤት ስራ (homework) 

ዳና (dana)


ዋዜማ (on the eve of…)

Born in South Carolina, Viola Davis grew up in Rhode Island, where she began acting—first in high school, and then at Rhode Island College. After attending the Juilliard School of Performing Arts, Davis soon made her Broadway debut in 1996. She won her first Tony Award in 2001, and was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for Doubt. In 2011, Davis starred in the hit dramatic film The Help. She has also appeared in Ender’s Game (2013) and Get on Up (2014). In 2014, Davis returned to television in the mystery series How to Get Away with Murder, and the following year became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the show.


It’s #Shakespeare400!

Photos from: WPA Federal Theater Project in New York: Negro Theatre Unit: “Macbeth”, ca 1935

Series: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs, 1882 - 1962Collection: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs, 1882 - 1962

Find more photos from this Federal Theater Project’s Negro Theatre Unit production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the National Archives Catalog »

CultureTV: The Wire - HD - Premieres Today - 9:00A12:00P - HBO Signature

Today begins a five-day, five-season, full-series marathon of the popular show and it starts at noon EST on HBO Signature. The channel will air one full season per day through December 30. By that count, that means that Season 4 (arguably the best) airs on Monday 12/29. 

This photo features Michael K. Williams as Omar Little, one of the most important and profound characters in black pop culture history. Don’t sleep on what most critics and TV fans call the ‘greatest TV series of all time’. Gritty, violent and brutally honest cable drama. A classic.

Mercy Street Revealed: A Blog

Dive Deeper into the Series with Mercy Street’s Historical Advisors

Untold History: The African American Community of Mercy Street

Audrey P. Davis is Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum in Alexandria, Virginia. In this blog post, Davis explores the African American community of 1862 Alexandria.

MERCY STREET airs Sundays at 10/9c on PBS.

African cinema: ten of the best by the Guardian


Cairo Station (Egypt, 1958)

If Alfred Hitchcock had been Egyptian and bisexual, and had himself played Norman Bates, Psycho might have been something like this. Sweaty, musical, melodramatic and political, Cairo Station stars ballsy writer-director Youssef Chahine as a homicidal newspaper seller in Cairo’s vast railway station. In the 1950s, movies such as Rebel without a Cause and All That Heaven Allows were about repression as a ticking time bomb, but Chahine’s film about sexual desire with no outlet was one of the biggest cinematic bombs of the decade.

Sambizanga (1973, Congo/Angola)

“I’ve only seen this film once, but will never forget images as bold, as well-lit as Caravaggio paintings. It’s a modern, radical account of a woman going from prison to prison, looking for her husband. The setting is Angola, but it was filmed in Congo. Director Sarah Maldoror studied in Moscow, worked on the classic The Battle of Algiers, then grabbed African cinema by the scruff of the neck, forcing it to engage with feminism, loss and movie aesthetics. Wow.”

Chronicle of the Year of Embers (Algeria, 1975)
Here’s cinema as a history painting, as epic as Bertolucci’s 1900. If our movie memories weren’t Hollywood-skewed, we’d think of Chronicle of the Years of Embers as a classic but, despite winning the Palme d'or in Cannes in 1975, Mohammad Lakhdar-Hamina’s film has fallen into the shadows. Which is what it’s about, in a way. An Algerian peasant from a tiny village is drawn into the de-colonial struggle. A deranged, homeless soothsayer (played by the director himself) jokes and japes at history. A cast of thousands, fascinating politics, bravura staging.

The Wind (Mali, 1983)
A Romeo and Juliet story. The star-crossed lovers take drugs, try to pass exams, get involved with student politics. The Wind, by Africa’s greatest living director Souleymane Cissé, has the flavour of 60s hippy movies from America, but his story casts long shadows. She’s from a modern Malian military family; his roots are tribal, magical. Against this fresco of African life they try to find erotic, sincere, funny moments together. The imagery is gorgeous, the music modernist and unforgettable, the ending is mythic.

Hyenas (Senegal, 1992)
Don’t know where to start with African film? Try this gobsmacking film by Senegal’s punk master-director Djibril Diop Mambéty. The story (from a Friedrich Dürrenmatt play) tells of a woman who, jilted by her lover, goes abroad, gets as rich as the world bank, then returns home, half made of gold. Yes, it’s that surreal. What does the woman find when she gets back? An avaricious, vacuous Africa, in love with TV soap operas and fridges. The twist in the story shocks, but what’s really daring is that the village where Mambety sets the tale, where he pins his nation to the wall, is … his hometown. Mambéty was Africa’s Orson Welles.

Guelwaar (Senegal, 1993)
In the same year as Hyenas, Africa’s founding father filmmaker Ousmane Sembène made this gripping, state of the nation film. A Catholic and a Muslim die on the same day. The Islamic villagers claim the body of their guy, and bury him at once, as is the Islamic custom. But they got the Catholic’s body. And he was a dissident. And was probably killed by the authorities for arguing against accepting foreign aid for Senegal. Sembène takes this brilliant scenario (based on a true story) and turns it into a chess game of multiple characters, an engrossing drama about African religion and, underneath that, a film about African pride. The final scene is astonishing (and seriously challenging for anyone who has given money to African charities) and the four songs by Baaba Maal are the film’s soul.

The Silences of the Palace (Tunisia, 1994)
There are so many flashbacks in African films, it’s as though the continent is always remembering. Former film editor Moufida Tlatli makes this film all about flashbacks. A young woman at the end of French rule in Tunisia begins to realise that her beautiful mother’s servitude in colonial times was sexual as well as economic. Where some of the above films are full of attack, this one is more dreamlike, but no less political. And if Tlatli’s career wasn’t already interesting enough, in the Arab spring, after the fall of the Tunisian government, she became culture minister in the new provisional government. The film was co-written by another great Tunisian director, Nouri Bouzid.

Keita, The Heritage of the Griot (Burkina Faso, 1996)
One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso is also one of the world’s most cinephile countries. Dani Kouyaté’s winning film shows a bright, modern boy learning the Darwinian facts of history. But then a traditional storyteller tells him the mythic version – a 13th-century tale about the Mande people. Kouyaté’s father, a real-life Griot, plays the storyteller and brings the magic-realist version of history alive. How does the boy reconcile the two versions? How do we live life as both poetry and prose? This gentle film has near-universal zing.

Waiting for Happiness (Mauritania, 2002)
The first knock-out African film I saw in the new millennium was this burnished mood-piece. It pictures Mauritania as a kind of limbo, where everyone is waiting, watching, dreaming of going to France or elsewhere. A boy tries to install an electric light. A rootless man’s shirt is the exact same material as his curtains and sofa. As these people drift and dream we see, through their eyes, street scenes of utter beauty, and we hear, through their ears, Malian Oumou Sangaré’s gorgeous score.

District 9 (South Africa, 2009)
I don’t need to say much about South African wunderkind Neill Blomkamp’s ET-in-the-slums-of-Joburg roller coaster, except that it was the best African sci-fi film since Souleymane Cissé’s masterpiece Yeelen/Brightness, made more than 20 years earlier.


Wonderful news. The “untitled animal trafficking” project is moving full steam ahead! (This is in addition to a separate film being written by Sheldon Turner in which Tom will take the role of “a Special Forces soldier working to battle poachers decimating the rhino and elephant populations in Zimbabwe”.) 

Will Staples Takes On WB Animal Poaching Pic For Tobey Maguire, Leo DiCaprio And Tom Hardy

EXCLUSIVE: Mission: Impossible 5 scribe Will Staples has been set to write an untitled Warner Bros film about illicit animal trafficking that Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy are herding as producers, with the trio possibly looking to take onscreen roles in the ensemble.

Staples was a writer of vidgames including versions of Call Of Duty and Need For Speed, who hit the Black List with King Of Heists (which Jeremy Renner is attached to. He is writing Myth at Fox for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventurea, and an untitled action vehicle for Ben Affleck to direct and star.

Here, he will script a film that is described as a Traffic-like dissection of the trafficking industry that exploits the global market for illicit parts from slain animals that are used as aphrodisiacs and other ridiculous purposes. The film will have multiple strands spread around the world, tracing supply and demand for animals slain, stripped and sold for fortunes in places like China. The characters range from the back-room dealings of corrupt executives, to a portrait of the life of a poacher, to others involved in the underbelly of a global scourge that occurs not only in the jungles but also the oceans, where illegal shark fishing runs rampant.

Pic will be produced by Tobey Maguire‘s Material Pictures, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Tom Hardy‘s Executive Options. Hardy, who’s about to pop big in Child 44 andMad Max: Fury Road, is very passionate about this issue. Warner Bros is also developing a separate animal trafficking pic that Hardy is producing with Maguire and DiCaprio’s companies. This one is being written by Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner and is a star vehicle for Hardy, who hatched the idea. The African-set drama calls for Hardy to play a former Special Forces soldier who signs on with a friend to work in the bush and trains rangers to battle poachers decimating the rhino and elephant populations in Zimbabwe. WME, Management 360 and Bloom Hergott rep Staples.