For Personal Reasons

Madubuko Diakité

Madubuko Diakité began his path as a filmmaker in May 1968, as he moved from New York to Paris, a city he quickly left. After a period of travelling in Southern and Central Europe, he made his way to Sweden, where he eventually settled in Lund and began studying at the university. Through his fellow student Navid Raiman, Diakité learned the basics of filmmaking and he then returned to New York for further studies in film.

In New York, Diakité directed Dreams of G, in which his then-wife Elaine Diakité starred as the lead character in a drifting dream portrait on Staten Island. In For Personal Reasons, his second film, Diakité’s own voice merged with a story of a lonely man’s political awakening alongside footage from the Harlem civil rights movement, the Black Panthers and Malcolm X. The film was completed in the early 70s, when Diakité returned to Lund, partly with support from Sveriges Television.

During the 70s and 80s, Diakité made two films with Lund as the point of departure. Det osynliga folket is a unique historical document that draws attention to a series of cases of vulnerability, racism and the fate of immigrants and foreign students in Lund during the 70s. En dag på Mårtenstorget, Diakité produced together with students in a course at Folkuniversitet in Lund which, as the name suggests, follows the daily activities on and around a square in Lund.

All together, Diakité’s short filmography bears witness to an overlooked but significant Swedish-American filmmaker – deeply rooted in social issues and whose production took place outside the confines of industrial filmmaking in the in-between spaces of public service alongside students and friends.

Madubuko Diakité will join the screening to talk more about his work.

SAT 29/10, 17:00 FYRIS

Dreams of G

Dreams of G takes us into the surrealist dreamscapes and awakening visions of G. An experimental short film shot in New York and made with support from The Film-Makers’ Coop.

USA 1970 / 07:00 / Director: Madubuko Diakité

For Personal Reasons

In 1970, aspiring Harlem filmmaker Madubuko Diakité brought a lightweight 16mm camera into a Black Panther demonstration in New York. Inspired by Jean-Luc Godard and cinéma vérité, Diakité wanted to take his camera into the streets to show reality as he saw it. The result was “For Personal Reasons” where Billy Curtis (Morgan Freeman’s younger brother) plays a young man who has had enough of racist police, and, influenced by Malcolm X, decides to take up arms. Diakité originally got the idea for the story from a newspaper article. With its theme of police brutality, its unforgiving voice over, and unseen Black Panther footage, “For Personal Reasons” is a rare cinematic gem that deserves its place in the canon of African-American films.

Sweden, USA 1972 / 29:00 / Director: Madubuko Diakité

Interview 1973

Interview made by Swedish National Television in conjunction with the television screening of For Personal Reasons.

Sweden 1973 / 03:05

The invisible people

Diakité’s unique historical document, made together with Gary Engman and Nordal Åkerman, records the precarious living conditions of foreign students, immigrants, and in particular the African diaspora in southern Sweden in the ‘70s.

Sweden 1972 / 31:00 / Director: Madubuko Diakité, Boris Bode

En dag på Mårtenstorget i Lund

En dag på Mårtenstorget Diakité produced together with students in a course at Folkuniversitet in Lund which, as the name suggests, follows the daily activities on and around the square in Lund.

Sweden 1981 / 14:26 / Director: Madubuko Diakité

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