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Le Président: Africa for the Future

March 31, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Portrait image of Jean-Pierre Bekolo wearing an orange shirt and clear glasses

2016 Germaine Brée Lecture:

Jean-Pierre Bekolo

Filmmaker and Activist


Jean-Pierre Bekolo (1966, Yaounde) is an avant-garde filmmaker and socio-cultural activist whose imaginative work overturns stereotypes of Africa and African cinema. His entertaining films operate on multiple layers, engaging viewers with thrilling stories, biting humor and dramatic aesthetics.

An advocate of artistic freedom, Bekolo is committed to realizing Africa’s philosophies and cultures. Quartier Mozart shows the hybridity, complexity and humor in urban Yaounde in a playful, hip-hop reinvention of a traditional tale about gender, power, magic and politics. Aristotle’s Plot parodies rules and definitions, action movies and ‘African’ cinema made for European audiences, while aesthetically reflecting on the nature of existence, its ambiguities and absence of rigid categories. Aiming to incite viewers to conceive an alternate reality, his fake documentary The President is a hilarious, biting satire on African leaders who cling to power, and his dystopian, sci-fi comic thriller with stunning surreal visuals, Les Saignantes, presents extreme corruption, feminism, social decay and intergenerational conflict for review.

Bekolo’s work on the re-representation of Africa also includes insightful documentaries that seek to educate, such as Grandmother’s Grammar on groundbreaking Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety, and Les Choses et Les Mots de Mudimbe on the renowned Congolese philosopher, multi-linguist and uber-polymath.


Part of a Screening and Lecture Series

Monday, 03/28:
2:25pm, 104 Van Hise : “Life after Life,” for a discussion on the film “Les Saignantes” in Vlad Dima’s undergraduate class

Tuesday, 03/29:
2:25pm, 483 Van Hise  : Visit with Prof. Névine El-Nossery’s graduate course on Francophone literature and film.

Wednesday, 03/30:
12pm, 206 Ingraham Hall : Africa-at-Noon series, an informal interview with the director
Title: “Conversations: Jean-Pierre Bekolo and Cinema” (led by Prof. Dima) on various issues.

Thursday, 03/31:
4pm, L160 Elvehjem : A Germaine Brée Lecture Series : “Le Président: Africa for the Future”
Campus-wide presentation (in English) on the current state of African cinema, followed by a screening of one of the director’s films and a brief Q&A

Friday, 04/01:
4pm at the French House : Informal presentation (in French) on Mr. Bekolo’s general artistic process, reasons for making films, politics etc.
Reception to follow.


March 31, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:


Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L160
750 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States