A remarkable silent film by explorer & filmmaker, Attilio Gatti, with live score by the talented British-Nigerian musician Juwon Ogungbe, using traditional African and western instruments
Directed by Attilio Gatti (1927)
In 1927, Italian explorer and filmmaker Attilio Gatti, inspired by Robert Flaherty’s groundbreaking documentary Nanook of the North, travelled to Africa with anthropologist Lidio Cipriani to make a film that would depict the realities of life among the Zulu natives and blend them with a scripted story. The result was Siliva the Zulu, a story of a romantic rivalry in a primitive African village. Along with the love story wedged into Gatti’s footage, Siliva the Zulu also includes historically invaluable scenes of daily life among the Zulu people, including healing rituals, dancing, and magical ceremonies. While Gatti originally intended to feature European actors as well as the Zulu natives, African immigration officers prevented this, and as a result the film was produced with a fully African cast. Siliva the Zulu was long thought to have been lost, but a print was discovered in the 21st century and it played a number of international film festivals.
This rare screening will be accompanied by live music from composer-performer Juwon Ogungbe. Drawing its influences from folk, township jazz, popular and art music genres from South Africa, Juwon Ogungbe’s composition will be performed on piano, marimba and mbira.
South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of democracy and freedom in South Africa. To commemorate this landmark date, South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour, a season of South African cinema, is taking place from October 2014 to April 2015 at venues across the UK. The film tour opens up the diversity, creative innovation and technical brilliance of South African cinema to UK audiences and is a collaboration between the five African film festivals in the UK: Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival in Scotland, Film Africa in London, Afrika Eye in Bristol, Watch-Africa in Wales and the Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF).
South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour is supported by the British Film Institute’s Programming Development Fund and the South African Season in the United Kingdom 2014 & 2015. The SA-UK Seasons is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, and the British Council.