Africa in Motion Film Festival: 'Our Friend Death'

By Katie MacFadyen
August 9, 2012

Three films, one continent, three different takes on death, dying and loss. The Africa in Motion Film Festival, in collaboration with the Festival of Spirituality and Peace and the Edinburgh University Global Health Academy, is presenting a trilogy of films from Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon - plus one native Scottish short - linked by the challenging theme of 'our friend death'.

The first film is 'No Time to Die', a comedy by pioneering Ghanaian film-maker King Ampaw about 'the romantic travails of a lovestuck hearse driver'.

In only his third movie in a quarter century, Ampaw does his bit to pass on death and funeral traditions to the next generation and explores the colour and acceptance of social ritual - all with a touch of absurdity and farce.

Friday August 10, 5:45pm, at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

This will be followed by 'Guelwaar', a film by celebrated Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene.

Sembene uses creative imagination and the power of cinema to bring to life a story of mistaken identity and religious tension, a detective thriller with deeply rooted political themes.

Saturday 11 August, 8:30pm, at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

Finally, there is a double feature. Chris Rawlence's short film 'Twenty Takes on Death and Dying' goes to the streets of Paisley, Elgin and Inverness to get to the heart of the views of the Scottish public on death and loss.

The film has been commissioned by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief.

The main feature alongside this is 'Funeral Season', a film by Canadian traveller Matthew Lancit about Cameroon's unique and festive funeral celebrations.

Journey with Lancit as he gains understanding of an extraordinary and threatened culture where the dead are always living and the increasing presence of the modern world looms large.

The movie presentation will be ollowed by a panel discussion moderated by Lizelle Bisschoff, Director of the Africa in Motion Film Festival.

Sunday August 12, 5:45pm, at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

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(c) Katie MacFadyen is a fourth year student of Classics at the University of Edinburgh, about to start a dissertation in Reception Studies: the study of how classics is and has been used in subsequent cultural contexts. She also writes speculative fiction and theatre, as well as film and book reviews. Her theatre reviews from the Fringe Festival 2011 can be found on and She is a media intern for the Festival of Spirituality and Peace 2012 and contributes regularly to Spirituality and Peace News (

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