The Visible Voice: The Films of Branwen Okpako


The Visible Voice: The Films of Branwen Okpako

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Branwen Okpako studied film directing at the German Film & Television Academy in Berlin. Her diploma film, Dreckfresser (2000), a documentary about the first Black East German policeman, won several prestigious international awards; her other full-length films include Tal der Ahnungslosen (2003) and Die Geschichte der Auma Obama (2011, doc).

This GSA program features her early short film Landing (1995, 11 min.) and her documentary-drama Der Fluch der Medea (The Curse of Medea, 2014, 45 min.), which premiered at the 2015 Berlinale. Okpako visited (East) German author Christa Wolf in January 2010 to discuss a film project based on Wolf's novel Medea: Stimmen. Over tea, with the sound of planes at nearby Schönefeld airport, they talk about how Wolf came to tell the story of Medea the immigrant, treated with suspicion in her host country, and are joined by the voices of Medea, Jason, Agameda, Glaucke and the passing of the GDR.

Branwen Okpako is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Digital Media at UC Davis and is currently completing her feature film Chibok Girls, based on the 2016 eponymous book by Helon Habila.

Q+A moderated by Sara Lennox (Univ. of Massachusetts) and Emily Frazier-Rath (Davidson College)

Sponsored by the German Film Office, the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA), and the DEFA Film Library