Cuba, an African Odyssey (Jihan El-Tahri, 2007)

Join us for the closing film in our series of free screenings to accompanied the exhibition Things Fall Apart.

El-Tahri’s award-winning documentary adds to our understanding of the African context of the Cold War. From 1961 to 1991, the continent was a battleground for four different competing interests: The Soviet Union wanted to extend its influence into a new continent; the U.S.wanted to take advantage of Africa’s natural resources; former European empires felt their grip on the area weaken; and newly formed African nations fought to defend their recently won independence.

Cuba, an African Odyssey explores how Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, gave critical support to Africa’s liberation movements. This influence was instrumental in advancing the decolonization process, which brought independence to much of the continent.

The film presents the viewer with rarely seen archival footage and in-depth interviews with those who set the course of important independence and liberation struggles. These range from Che Guevara’s efforts in the Congo in 1965 to the ballet of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, when the Angolans and Cubans forced South Africa back to the negotiating table to secure the end of the civil war in Angola and Namibia.

El-Tahri’s Cuba, an African Odyssey is part of a series of curated film screenings that accompany Things Fall Apart, expanding on some of the themes explored in the exhibition. Read more about the film programme here.