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The Education of Auma Obama

(Die geschichte der Auma Obama)
Germany 2011. Director: Branwen Okpako
With: Auma Obama, Kezia Obama, Elke Brenstein, Marsat Osumba Onyango

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! When Barack Obama announced his run for President of the United States in 2007, the world’s attention suddenly turned to a small corner in Africa. Obama’s “Kenyan family” became a source of fascination, of mistrust, and of media scrutiny. Through it all, Obama’s half-sister Auma Obama provided a link - introducing her brother to his estranged paternal relatives and acting as a spokesperson of a sort for a particular vision of Africa. But director Branwen Okpako’s compelling documentary shows us so much more through its intimate portrait of a woman who embodies a postcolonial intellectual and feminist identity that crosses boundaries and challenges assumptions. Auma Obama is not only a president’s sister; she is an activist, a community organizer, an academic, a daughter, and a multilingual storyteller. Going beyond biography, the film chronicles a history of colonial wounds and postcolonial hopes and disillusionments, and reveals a generation not often seen: a postcolonial generation of politically, socially and intellectually engaged Africans who remain rooted in their communities and committed to inspiring change. Colour, Blu-ray, in English, Luo, and German with English subtitles. 80 mins.

Director in Attendance • Introduction + Q&A

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DIRECTOR BIO: Branwen Okpako was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and has studied at the University of Bristol and at the DFFB (German Film and Television Academy). She wrote and directed several short films before making her first feature Valley of the Innocent and the documentary The Education of Auma Obama, both of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.