Cosmic Africa (2003)

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Searching for the links between Western scientific thought and African mythology and spiritualism, filmmakers Damon and Craig Foster and noted South African astronomer Thebe Medupe travel across continental Africa to demonstrate how the two traditions come together in the 2002 documentary, Cosmic Africa. A native South African whose own cosmological fascination arose from the oral histories he heard from his village elders, Medupe's quest for uniting the scientific with the mythological began in high school when many of his contemporaries began leaving behind their own histories and legends in favor of Western lines of thought. With the Fosters, Medupe's journeys take him from the Namibian deserts to cliff dwellings in Mali and other significant sites in Kenya, Ghana, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Egypt, all of which contain numerous examples that reflect the importance which the night sky had on the various inhabitants of the continent and how those peoples integrated their view of the cosmos into their lives and legends. Cosmic Africa premiered in the United States in January 2003 with a screening at the Carnegie Institute, which was followed later that year with a premiere screening in Cape Town, South Africa.