Al'lèèssi . . . An African Actress (Free Screening!)

Free First Thursday Screening!
Tickets available at the PFA Theater starting at 4:30
Introduced by Lisa Marie Rollins

Lisa Marie Rollins is a Ph.D. candidate in the African Diaspora Program in UC Berkeley's Department of African American Studies.

(Al'lèèssi . . . Une Actrice africaine). When Zalika Souley appeared in her first film at the age of eighteen, she became part of a new film industry in Niger. Defying expectation and custom to embark on a career that hadn't existed in her country, she was the first professional African actress. A fiercely independent woman in Islamic Niger, Souley endured a terrible reputation based on a career playing the bad girl in a country where some hadn't learned to differentiate between cinema and reality. Rahmatou Keïta's warm and revelatory visit with Souley illuminates both her career and the history of African cinema. Through film clips and relaxed interviews with pioneering directors and actors, Keïta traces the history of the industry, uncovering wonderful behind-the-scenes stories, from the giddy early days, when African film was inventing itself as it went along, through the realities of politics, economics, and the current state of the art.

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