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African Film Series presents four films in April

As part of the Global Studies degree program's African Film Series, Penn State Berks will present four films in April: Festival in the Desert on Wednesday, April 8 at 1:15 p.m. in room 101 of the Franco Building; and Yesterday on Thursday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m.; Two Summers in Rwanda on Monday, April 13 at 1:15 p.m.; and The Last King of Scotland on Thursday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. The last three films will be presented in room 105 of the Franco Building. All  films are free and open to the public.

Festival in the Desert is the 2004 film about an annual event called Le Festival au Désert, which has been taking place deep in the sandy vastness of the African Sahara since 2001. Part of a plan to bridge the differences between Mali's nomadic and settled people, the festival is a unique celebration of music and culture. The event draws artists from all over the world to the most remote music festival on the globe. The film showcases the 2003 concert that featured an unusual combination of acts including bands Lo'Jo (France), Tinariwen (Mali), and Blackfire (Native American); Malian greats Ali Farka Touré and Oumou Sangarem; and an appearance by British guitarist Justin Adams and Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.

Yesterday is the 2004 film about a young South African woman, named Yesterday, who falls ill and discovers she is HIV positive. When her husband learns of her illness, he leaves her to fend for herself.  She hopes to survive long enough to see her daughter, Beauty, go to school. This HBO movie, nominated for an Academy Award, presents both a look at Zulu society and some of the issues surrounding AIDS in Africa.
 
Two Summers in Rwanda is a student documentary chronicling the experiences of Penn State Berks interns and their instructor Dr. Randall Fegley, assistant professor of history and co-coordinator of the Global Studies degree program, in Rwanda in 2006 and 2008.
 
The Last King of Scotland is the 2006 film that tells the story of the young, idealistic doctor Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan, who moves to Uganda to assist in a rural hospital and meets the new president, Idi Amin, a rabid Scotland fan, who soon offers him a senior position in the national health department. As the years pass, Garrigan cannot help but notice Amin's increasingly erratic behavior that grows beyond a legitimate fear of assassination into a murderous insanity that is driving Uganda into bloody ruin. Realizing his dire situation, Garrigan must make some crucial decisions that could mean his death if the despot finds out.

For more information about the African Film Series, contact Dr. Randall Fegley, assistant professor of history and co-coordinator of the Global Studies degree program, at 610-396-6092 or via e-mail at raf8@psu.edu.

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