Films are an important aspect of African culture, and there have been a number of fine movies produced across the continent over the years. While certain African countries have more thriving film industries than others, we believe there are theatrical classics all around Africa. In this article, we look at 15 African films of all time.
15. Tsotsi (2005), South Africa
Tsotsi is one of only three African films to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie is set in a city slum in Johannesburg, South Africa, and tells the story of a juvenile street thug who steals a car. When he discovers a child in the back seat, he forgives himself by caring for the young infant.
14. Letter From My Village (1976), Senegal
Set in southern Senegal, where the film's director, Safi Faye, grew up, this delicate, witty film straddles fact and fiction. Due to a severe drought, a young man named Ngor is unable to marry the woman he loves. He must travel to Dakar, the capital, to earn money, where he is severely exploited.
13. The Wedding Party (2016), Nigeria
The Wedding Party is one of Nigeria's most successful international films. It's a raunchy comedy about upmarket aspirational yearnings set in Lagos, where a young gallery owner is poised to marry her fiancé, an IT entrepreneur, much to her parents' delight. However, issues in the couple's relationship arise just before the wedding.
12. Ashakara (1991), Togo
The story of a Togolese doctor who tries to prevent a worldwide firm from obtaining the vaccine for a hazardous virus identified by a local homeopath. Ashakara is a daring piece of cinematography with the potential to appeal to a wider audience; it's a shame it's not better recognized.
11. Yeelen (1987), Mali
This is the story of Niankoro, a young man who left his home in search of spiritual enlightenment and courage, qualities he would need in the coming confrontation with his father, who had abandoned him. In 1987, Souleymane Cissé's mystical journey was a box office hit, winning the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
10. The Season of Men (2001), Tunisia
An entertaining film about a mom and her two daughters, as well as the female community that supports and imprisons them on a Tunisian island. Aicha is married to a businessman in Tunis and is forced to live on the island with all of her husband's in-laws. Every year, the husband and the other men come to live with them for a month.
9. The Battle of Algiers (1966), Algeria
This classic film by Gillo Pontecorvo is a stunning reenactment of the Algerian struggle against French imperialism in the 1950s. The government entrusts French army officer Colonel Mathieu with putting down the insurrection as the bombing campaign begins in Algiers. To obtain further information, he launches a ruthless targeted campaign of torture.
8. District 9 (2009), South Africa
District 9, an award-winning science fiction thriller, is one of the best films to ever come out of South Africa. The story follows an alien race that is forced to live on Earth under appalling conditions. Imprisoned in District 9, a militaristic internment camp, the beings find assistance in a government agent who is aware of their biotechnology talents.
7. Osuofia in London (2003), Nigeria
Osuofia in London is one of the most successful Nollywood comedies ever. Nkem Owoh, who won an African Movie Academy Award for his role as a native peasant, travels to London to claim his portion of the inheritance. The film is hilarious and provides a fascinating look into contemporary Nigerian culture.
6. Hotel Rwanda (2004), Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda is a moving historical play about the genocide in Rwanda that occurred nearly two decades ago. Terry George's film depicts an ordinary family man who has the unusual courage to provide shelter to thousands of displaced refugees at the hotel he manages.
5. Black Girl (1966), Senegal
Black Girl is regarded as one of the first films made by an African filmmaker in Sub-Saharan Africa to receive international acclaim. The movie follows Diouana, a young woman from Dakar, as she moves to France to work as a nanny for a wealthy French couple. However, she soon discovers that she is nothing more than a slave to the family.
4. I Am Not a Witch (2017), Zambia
This film depicts the narrative of Shula, a Zambian orphan who is suspected of being a witch by her neighbors; she is exiled, but then taken under the wing of Mr. Banda, a sleazy public figure with an odd side hustle. Shula is enrolled in his "witch camp," which he runs. Shula is immediately pulled into service, using her magical abilities to assist the police and the farming community by miraculously sending rain to the area.
3. Touki Bouki (1973), Senegal
This is the narrative of Mory and Anta, two young men who are disillusioned with their Senegalese nation and yearn to escape to Europe. They require money quickly, and the only way to obtain it is through criminal activity, such as theft, fraud, prostitution, or burglary. Later, only Anta feels compelled to flee Senegal, while Mory is strangely restrained by links to his nation.
2.The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), South Africa
One of the most popular comedies to ever come out of Africa is The Gods Must Be Crazy. The film is a comedic allegory about contemporary civilization clashing with old-world African traditions. Following a bushman who discovers a coke bottle dropped by a passing plane, his town regards the object as a gift from the gods. In order to figure out what it means, he sets out to travel to the edge of the planet and destroy it. Along the way, he meets a group of revolutionaries who want to overthrow the government.
1. Abouna (2002), Chad
Abouna is a stylish African film that paints a picture of love and loss. It is often referred to as the greatest African film of all time. The film depicts the extremely dramatic and funny events that occur in the lives of two young boys, aged 15 and 8, in the search for their father, who abandoned them. Finally, the boys are sent to Catholic school, and one of them meets a girl, sparking a love story that both deepens and complicates their personal relationship, as one of the boys is about to leave boyhood far sooner than his lonely brother.