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Filmography - Islam: Islam in Africa – excluding Egypt

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Islam in Africa – excluding Egypt

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on biology topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary:


Alaa Al Aswany. 2008.  1 streaming video file (29 min.). In the early years of his dental practice, Alaa Al Aswany had an office in Cairo's deteriorating Yacoubian Building-eventually turning his experiences there into a successful novel by the same title. This interview with the Egyptian author highlights his views on social issues affecting the Islamic world as well as his attitudes towards literature and the West. Guiding viewers through his favorite haunts, past and present, among the streets of Cairo, Al Aswany addresses several topics-including the 2005 Danish cartoon controversy, the damage caused by stereotypes, and the author's belief that dictatorship, not fundamentalism, is the disease which Egypt and other Islamic nations must cure. (29 minutes).  Streaming video

Ceddo. 2001?  1 videodisc (112 min.). An historical epic set loosely in the 19th century, the film examines the confrontation between opposing forces in the face of Moslem expansion in Africa.  DVD 9465

Colorado to Cairo Voices of youth. 2005.  1 streaming video file (33 min.). This program presents two groups of high school students generating a flood of cross-cultural insights. American Islamic, Christian, and agnostic teenagers speak their minds while young Egyptian Muslims do the same-then both panels observe and react to each other. Their subjects include dating, cliques, education, religion, the impact of American entertainment, and more. Displaying a variety of backgrounds, attitudes, and visions for the future, these youthful gatherings offer a powerful remedy against stereotypes and an indispensable tool for diversity training. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. (33 minutes).  Streaming video

Des hommes et des dieux = Of gods and men. 2011.  1 videodisc (123 min.). Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990's. When a crew of foreign workers are massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay, come what may.  DVD 8986

El Moulid Egyptian religious festival. 2007.  Egyptian celebration of life series: Ethnographic video online.  1 streaming video (38 min.). Shows some of the events of the Islamic religious festival of El Moulid in October 1987, including circumcision of young boys, parades, and Friday prayers.  Streaming video;764190

Heavenly mud. 2006.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (52 min.). This unique film takes us on a journey down the Niger River in Mali (West Africa) filled with rarely seen traditional African architecture. These edifices are as visionary as anything conceived by Gaudi in the 20th century. In legendary cities like Timbuktu and Djenne, ancient mosques and palaces, some of which are more than a thousand years old, were built with mud (adobe). In the holy city of Djenne, mud architecture reached its peak in the world famous Grand Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The filmmaker was the first allowed to film the interior of this mosque. Architecture in the same tradition is also seen in remote regions on the edge of the Sahara. The power and striking beauty of African architecture is immediately apparent. A master mason in Djenne demonstrates the magic practices his guild employs as a protective measure, inserting special papers into the walls of houses. South of Timbuktu a builder combines the seeds of different crops needed for survival in a basket which are then put under the first stone of the new building. Although Islam prohibits such spells, the builders use them anyway. The film compares ancient African architecture to twentieth century "organic" architecture as practiced by Frank Lloyd Wright and Antonio Gaudi. A famous Dutch organic architect, Max van Huut , believes modern Western architecture has contributed to alienation, whereas contemporary organic architecture, with its more human scale, contributes to a sense of community.  Streaming video;1646837

The imam & the pastor An African answer. 2006.  2 videodiscs (40 min.), (38 min.). The imam & the pastor: Documentary about the efforts of Imam Ashafa and Pastor James to peacefully resolve conflicts and to promote tolerance between Nigeria's Christians and Muslims. An African answer: The results of national elections in Kenya in December 2007 were disputed.  In Rift Valley Province, this produced unrest and violence between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnic groups. Imam Ashafa and Pastor James (from Nigeria) were invited to this area to work towards reconciliation between people of these two tribes.  DVD 4156

A jihad for love. 2008.  1 videodisc (81 min.). First feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality.  The film travels a wide geographic arc, presenting lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France.  Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film's characters show for it.  DVD 5640

Journeys into Islamic Africa. 2004.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). Geographically, Muslim countries cover approximately 50 percent of Africa. This program travels around the continent to inquire into Islamic history and the Muslim way of life, making stops in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, South Africa, Senegal, Algeria, Sudan, and many other destinations. The experiences of two particular groups-those sent by Muhammad himself to Ethiopia, during the Muslim-Quraish War, and slaves and prisoners of the Dutch who were forcibly relocated to South Africa-are given special attention. (52 minutes).  Streaming video

Justice à Agadez Justice at Agadez. 2006?  1 videodisc (78 min.). Filmed in the village of Agadez in northern Niger, this films chronicles seven typical cases heard by the local Cadi.  The film unobtrusively witnessess these seven stories - small civil disputes, domestic conflicts, marriage problems, accusations of theft.  Justice at Agadez not only demonstrates the power of Islamic religious beliefs in enforcing both moral and civil behavior but also provides viewers a rare opportunity to see how Islamic law, unlike the manner in which it has often been sensationalized in the Western media, actually functions on an everyday basis.  DVD 7448

Mali & Senegal the power of Islam. 2002.  Africa in the 21st Century: Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (54 min.). Islam has influenced West Africa since the 11th century, but only in the last 100 years has the religion grown so rapidly in Senegal and Mali. One prominent sect, the Murid movement which grew out of Sufism, has millions of followers and wealth accumulated from peanut cultivation. As a force of conservative Islam, its economic and political power must be watched by the West.  Streaming video;1652669

Paper gods Aspects of religion in Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mali. 2004.  1 streaming video file (51 min.). Christianity, Islam, and a broad range of indigenous religions coexist side by side in Africa, in many cases blending into unique hybrids. This program-an inquiry into the nature of the continent's spiritual practices-spotlights the Reverend Pastor Benoit D. Agbaossi, supreme head of the Celestial Church of Christ, in Benin, and footage of an exorcism and The Ceremony of the Infertile Woman; the village of Kukoe, Ghana, where women accused of witchcraft find welcome and sanctuary; the Rifai Sufis of Cairo, who provide insights into the meaning of Sufism; Yin believers of the Niger River, who venerate water spirits, and footage of the Holey Horey Ceremony; and a pilgrimage to the Sof Omar Cave, in Ethiopia, where a blend of Christianity, Islam, and animism is practiced. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 50 minutes).  Streaming video

The sultan's burden. 1995.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (49 min.). Sultan Issa Maigari is the ruler of the northern Cameroon province of Adamawa, an area the size of England. Served by a liveried bodyguard of servants and slaves, he lives in an extraordinary thatched palace with his harem of wives and concubines and his thirty children. We are in a world of heraldry and magic, an ancient world fast disintegrating under the pressures of contempory political forces.In 1992 the Sultan allowed anthropologist Lisbet Holtedahl, and award-winning director Jon Jerstad, to film his life. Never before had a traditional Islamic leader granted such access to a world that seems straight out of the Arabian Nights. We see the many problems besetting the Sultan, ranging from the threat of an armed rebellion among the peasant farmers, to his impossible task of justifying support for the national Christian goverment to his local Moslem subjects. His courtiers criticize his rule. His own Praise-Singer (surely the worst Praise Singer in Africa) contributes a bitter diatribe against the Sultan for his lack of generosity. The intrigues of the court are reminiscent of Shakespearean drama. Filmed as the first democratic elections in Cameroon were about to be held, The Sultan's Burden captures the myriad political and ethnic rivalries which occur all over Africa as it emerges from a colonial past.  Streaming video;1649691

Where is love in the palm grove? 2008.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (52 min.). Mamoun, a quirky thirty-five year old Muslim man living in Skoura, Morocco, has never been married. His sister considers the situation scandalous, because if he does not marry, it means he is not following the commandments of their religion. Mansour seems satisfied with his life, living near his family, on good terms with his neighbors, tending his animals and dealing with the droughts common to this very dry region. When asked why he has not married, he gives evasive answers. Mamoun could apply to the Nikah, an important Muslim matrimonial service. Or he could attend the Lema, the annual meeting of young people set up to give men and women an opportunity to find a mate, one of the few times Muslims are permitted to meet and talk with the opposite sex. The French filmmaker (temporarily living in Skoura) tries to arrange a marriage for Mamoun with the pretty young daughter of a neighbor. She likes Mamoun and would marry him but he wants someone even prettier. He does attend the Lema but no one appeals to him. Considering the separation of the sexes in Muslim society, the obsession with virginity, and the custom of arranged marriages, how can love blossom? Or maybe love is only a Western concept? As his brother, Abdelali, says, "The only priority for people here is working hard and earning their bread. When your hands are raw because of a pickax, love is irrelevant.".  Streaming video;1652648