The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam which runs 2oth November to 1st December offers an independent and inspiring meeting place for audiences and professionals to see a diverse and high-quality program. The diverse nature of the event applies to the form and content of the films as well as to the cultural backgrounds of the filmmakers. IDFA offers an alternative to mass entertainment and uniformity, confirming that there is an increasing need in audiences for high-quality films that delve deep and urge us to reflect. Since 2007, the festival’s New Media program IDFA DocLab showcases the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and explores how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. (Image credit still: Oris Erhuero as Simon)
After Your Revolt, Your Vote!
Director: Kiswendsida Parfait Kaboré
Country Burkina Faso, France 2019 87 min World Premiere
Following a popular uprising in October 2014, Burkina Faso commits to a historic vote. Thanks to a movement led by the young Burkina generation, this is the first time the country is witnessing a change of government via the ballot boxes.
Roger Ross Williams Country United States 2019
102 min Dutch Premiere
Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem is more than just a theater. It’s the birthplace and home of countless great African-American performers: James “Mister Apollo” Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Prince, Richard Pryor—the list goes on and on. It was in this safe haven that Billie Holiday dared to sing “Strange Fruit” live, and where African-American culture could be freely celebrated. That much is clear from the hyperkinetic edits with lots of never-before-seen footage—including the first-ever shows by “Little” Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill—and anecdotes galore in interviews with all the people who were there.
The film’s recurring theme is the dialogue rehearsal for a stage adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between The World and Me, which explores what it means to be black in the United States. The Apollo is inextricably bound up with the history of black identity. It was the venue for the memorial service for James Brown, and for a triumphant performance by America’s first black president.
Europa, “Based on a True Story” Kivu Ruhorahoza Rwanda, United Kingdom, Switzerland 2019 92 min World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza decides to make a new film in London, a drama about Simon, a mysterious Nigerian man, who returns to London to make amends with Anna, his mixed-race lover and Bruce, Anna’s white ex-husband. Progressively, this love triangle mirrors the increasing social and racial tensions in Great Britain and Europe. In parallel to his narrative feature, Kivu documents these tensions by filming a series of rallies in the streets of London. But inevitably, the Hostile Environment Immigration Policy of the ruling Conservative Party comes back to haunt the lovers and to disrupt Kivu’s filmmaking efforts. Screens 23, 24, 27 and 30 November, then 1st December.
Where: Amsterdam Nederland