Women: Challenges & Empowerment Series
Bling: A Planet Rock
DVD, Color, 87 minutes, 2007 (USA)
Directed by Raquel Cepeda
This acclaimed feature length documentary about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds, takes a hard-hitting look at how the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a significant role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Follow hip-hop artists: Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Paul Wall, Puerto Rican emcee and activist Tego Calderon as they join former child soldier and international bestselling author Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone) on his return to Sierra Leone for the first time since escaping the war and reveals how hip-hop literally saved his life.
The term “bling” refers to the shine emanating from polished diamonds that represent the status symbol for hip-hop luminaries and fans alike. The protagonists’ hip-hop artists: Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Paul Wall, Puerto Rican emcee and activist Tego Calderon join former child soldier and international bestselling author Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone) on his return to Sierra Leone for the first time since escaping the war and reveals how hip-hop literally saved his life. Visit the capital of Freetown and Kono where they survey the devastated country, meet the hip-hop community, as well as, encounter refugees and former child soldiers first hand. The stars are visibly affected by the accounts of the atrocities suffered at the hands of the rebels that included rape, torture and amputation. The film effectively captures the hip-hop community’s reaction to the human rights violations and the complexities that still exist, while presenting a much needed global perspective for our youth through the dominant voice of hip-hop.
Meet the filmmaker:
Clips and Conversation with Raquel Cepeda
A screening of selections from her current documentary work-in-progress:
and booktalk about recent publication:
Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
6:30 p.m. on the 6th floor
Founded in 1990, The African Film Festival, Inc., seeks to use African cinema to promote and increase knowledge and understanding of African arts, literature and culture, develop a non-African audience for African films, and expand the opportunities for the distribution of African films in the United States and abroad.
Over the last twenty years ago, AFF has honored its mission by creating diverse programs that aid and empower audiences and filmmakers alike, including the annual New York African Film Festival, which is co-presented with Film Society of Lincoln Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Offering year-round programming, AFF showcases new and classic films, through such programs as the African Film Festival National Traveling Series presenting in 13 cities across the United States, and the internationally in Brazil, Sierra Leon, Jamaica, Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, AFF also runs a series of Community-based screenings in which AFF partners with local cultural organizations to present films in a community setting.
African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization.
Films are geared to an adult audience and may not be appropriate for all ages.
All Programs are FREE and subject to last minute change or cancellation.