What educators are saying about African Family Films:

“…an interdisciplinary approach in film where art, music, culture and daily life meet and are not separated…The films thus make a departure from traditional anthropological documentaries which too often look at people like ants and lose the element of warm human interaction.”

—Dr. Manthia Diawara, Director of Africana Studies, New York University.
Author: African Cinema: Politics & Culture.
Film credits: Rouch in Reverse; Sembene Ousmane—The Making of African Cinema.

“The cinematic result of all this work is a series of films that are deceptively simple. Most of the documentaries of the peoples of Africa that I have seen appear to have been done by the “parachute” school of filmmakers: dropped into a culture they do not understand, to film something “exotic” in the shortest possible amount of time. African Family Films are the anthesis of this: they are sensitive, patient and observant, focusing not on what makes us different from each other but on the human qualities that we all share, whatever culture we are born into. This work cannot help but to build ties of understanding between peoples.”

—John A. Reddy, Peace Corps Director, Burkina Faso & Madagascar; Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher, Lesotho.

What educators are saying about Great Great Great Grandparents’ Music :

“This is the most compelling and instructive documentary filmmaking I have seen in many years…a monumental accomplishment…invites the viewer into a magical world of colors, sounds, music and utter joy. Great Great Great Grandparents’ Music beautifully portrays the relationship between elders and children and the transmission of cultural knowledge. Through a child’s eyes, it presents an insightful picture of an African family which takes pride in their music, oral history and personal adornment and it’s infectious!”

—Leasa Farrar Fortune, Education Specialist, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art.

Great Great Great Grandparents’ Music is clearly one of the best documentaries ever done on Africa…thoughtful, sensitive and beautifully captured. I have watched the film perhaps ten times now and not only does it continue to hold my interest, but it gets better each time.”

—Doran H. Ross, Director, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, Los Angeles.

“The film focuses on an African family, emphasizing the education of motivated and perceptive children who learn through the example of their parents. This family directs itself toward dynamic sociocultural activities in preserving traditional values of its society.”

—Sembene Ousmane, internationally acclaimed author and filmmaker, CILSS Jury President, FESPACO [Festival Panafricain de Cinéma de Ouagadougou].
Author: Le Mandat, Xala, Le Docker Noir, O! Pays, Mon Beau Peuple, Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu, L’Harmattan.
Film Credits: La Noire de…, Mandabi [Le Mandat], Emitai, Xala, Ceddo, Camp de Thiaroye, Faat Kine.

“I believe that the ultimate contribution of the film will be its contribution to humanity.”

—Kamari Clarke, Anthropologist, University of California, Santa Cruz.

“The film creates really gripping windows on African culture.”

—Kali Kata m’Bula, Teacher, Santa Cruz.

“I believe Great Great Great Grandparents’ Music has educational and sociological lessons for the world, and will lead to a greater understanding of and appreciation for the peoples of West Africa.”

—David Yohn, Filmmaker and Professor of Theater Arts, San Jose State University.