Friday, January 18, 2013

Out of Diaspora: 'The Best of Best of ADIFF 2012'

DESPERATE, Dr. Michael Durant (Isaiah Washington) finds himself on a journey to Africa in search of a potion that will save the life of a fellow doctor (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who saved the life of a young patient of his.

The journey from the New World of New York to the Old World of Nigeria is eye-opening in more ways than one as the good doctor discovers much more than he set out to. And so it is in “Doctor Bello” (

The film from Tony Abulu represents a series of clashes or intersections: Eastern medicine and its younger, more arrogant cousin, Western medicine; life and death; insensitive administrators and dedicated healers; husband and wife; West Africa and North America; the African and the American of African descent.(See video above.)

“Doctor Bello” is one of the 10 films from 12 countries over three days that the New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYCADIFF) has programmed tonight through Sunday under the rubric of “The Best of ADIFF 2012.” The films will be shown at locations around Teachers College at Columbia University as part of the ADIFF’s yearlong celebration of its 20th anniversary. Q&As as well as companion films figure in the mix. (

One aspect that sets NYCADIFF apart from other festivals is that it concerns itself with films that tell non-marginalizing stories of the African diaspora wherever it exists, regardless of the ethnic background of the filmmaker. Here, it is the story that is the heart of the matter.

“Doctor Bello” screens tonight after the festival opener, “Garifuna in Peril” (see video above), about the efforts of a Honduran language teacher to preserve the dialect of his people, as well as the land on which they have lived for more than 200 years from the encroachment of deleterious development. (

In La Playa D.C., Afro-Colombian teen, Tomas (Luis Carlos Guevara) leaves his coastal, war-ravaged home for the big city to find his younger brother (AndrĂ©s Murillo) and faces racism and other bigotry during his quest. It screens Saturday as does “Here We Drown Algerians." (

The title refers to a message that was scribbled on a Paris bridge. Using footage, photos and firsthand accounts, the documentary looks at a bit of shameful French history that remained largely hidden until the 1990s. Essentially on 17 Oct. 1961, Parisian police attacked a peaceful march of Algerians in support of independence for their country from France.

Letting the imagination go with Shakespeare as a starting point is “Tango MacBeth,” one of several films screening on the last day of the festival. In Nadine Patterson’s feature film directorial debut, an ethnically diverse cast dances about and sometimes loses itself in the subplots of the Bard’s oft-adapted tragedy. (

Visit to learn more about The Best of ADIFF 2012.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
VEVLYN'S PEN: The Wright take on life by Vevlyn Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License .
Based on a work at .
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at .