Producers' Forum: An Opera of the World
Scribe Video Center
3908 Lancaster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
AN OPERA OF THE WORLD directed by Manthia Diawara (Portugal, USA, Mali, 2017, 70 mins)
MANTHIA DIAWARA IN PERSON
Manthia Diawara’s film is based on the opera Bintou Were, from the Sahel region of Africa, which recounts an eternal migration drama. The Bintou Were opera, filmed on location in Bamako, Mali in 2007, serves as a mirror for Diawara to build an aesthetic and reflexive story, through song and dance, about the current and yet timeless drama of migration and the ongoing refugee crises. The success and limits of fusing African and European perspectives are tested by interlacing performances from the Bintou Were opera, past and present archival footage of migrations, classic European arias, and interviews with European and African intellectuals, artists, and social activists.
Manthia Diawara is a filmmaker, essayist and cultural critic. Born in Mali, West Africa, he is the Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Film at New York University. His essays on art, cinema and politics have appeared in The New Times Magazine, LA Times, Libération, and Artforum. He is the author of two memoirs and has published several books on African and African American cinema. Diawara’s previous films include Negritude: A Dialogue between Soyinka and Senghor (2016), One World in Relation (2010), Maison Tropicale (2008) and Rouch In Reverse (1995).
Preceded by And Now I Can Speak (USA, 2017, 9:14 mins) produced by Abia Noumbissi through Scribe Video Center’s 2017 Documentary History Project for Youth Program. This short documentary explores the migration of people and language and how/why immigrants need to learn English when they move to the United States.
THIS SCREENING CO-PRESENTED BY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY AND THE CENTER FOR EXPERIMENTAL ETHNOGRAPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.