Experiencing Interruptions?


The Bronze Men of Cameroon’ is an intimate portrait of a community of bronze artisans in Foumban, the ‘City of Arts’. Bronze casting is a valued cultural heritage of the Bamum People in the Western Region of Cameroon. This film presents bronze craftsmen at work. It presents rare insights into their expertise in producing unique bronze sculptures that are inscribed with symbolic images and narratives of collective memory, identity and the Bamum character.

The Bronze Men of Cameroon’ is also about threats to cultural continuity as global trends negatively impact on indigenous practices. Bamum bronze casting is endangered! The bronze craftsmen are facing challenges in sustaining and safeguarding their unique cultural heritage that has formed their collective social memory. The raw materials for their cherished traditional art practice are scare. The artists are facing competition from Chinese migrants who are buying the materials in large quantities and exporting to their country. Bronze casting activities are slowly declining. The foundries are closing down! Some bronze Artists are turning to farming and other trades. The artisans are fearful and uncertain “whether in the future Bamum’s bronze art could disappear” and, with it, a tradition and their sense of belonging that has defined their identity, culture, and history for several generations. Are these the last generation of bronze craftsmen in the Bamum Kingdom?

In French and Bamum with English Subtitles

    Sisters in Law. (2005), Zanzibar. Soccer. Queens. (2007), Art of this Place: Women. Artists in Cameroon. (2011). Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (2016), Marie Madeleine: A Female Chief (2018)
  • Florence Ayisi
    Sisters in Law (2005), Zanzibar Soccer Queens (2007), Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (2016), Marie Madeleine: A Female Chief (2018)
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    'Les Hommes de Bronze du Cameroun’
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 11, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Twin City Black Film Festival (TCBFF)
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    United States
    October 22, 2020
    USA Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Mosaic Film Festival of Arts and Culture
    Bedford, Nova Scotia
    November 23, 2020
    Canada Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Kwanzaa Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    December 28, 2020
    IMANI Feature Film Award
Distribution Information
    Country: United Kingdom
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - FLORENCE AYISI

FLORENCE AYISI was born in Cameroon. She lives and works in the United Kingdom. She is professor of International Documentary Film at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales, (USW). She teaches diverse aspects of documentary history and theory and documentary film production. Florence is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her vision for making documentary films is to decolonise the images and ideas about Africa from Pan-African and woman-centred perspectives. Her films offer rare images, discerning insights and stories where African subjects have agency and voice. She has made several documentary films in Cameroon and Tanzania including Sisters in Law, her first feature documentary (co-directed with Kim Longinotto, 2005), which has won over 30 prestigious film awards. It was long-listed for an Academy Award nomination (Oscars) in 2006 and has been screened in over 200 film festivals and on Television world-wide.
Her other documentary films include Marie-Madeleine: A Female Chief (2018), Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (co-directed with Catalin Brylla, 2016), Zanzibar Soccer Queens (2007), My Mother: Isange (2007), Art of this Place: Women Artists in Cameroon (2011), Handing Down Time – Cameroon (2012). The Bronze Men of Cameroon (2020) is her most recent documentary film; a portrait of bronze artists presenting a unique glimpse of their craftsmanship and challenges of sustaining a valued cultural heritage that has defined their identity and maintained livelihoods.
In 2017, Zanzibar Soccer Dreams was shortlisted for the prestigious Research in Film Awards by AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council), for the International Development Award – Mobilising Global Voices category. Florence was presented with the ICON Award at the 2018 Africa Week in Bristol, U.K. - the award recognises the "exceptional contributions by individuals in promoting Pan-Africanism on a personal, national and global scale.” Her films have significantly contributed to women’s empowerment, transforming societal attitudes and policy change.
FLORENCE AYISI has collaborated with several Third Sector Organisations and Government bodies within the broad context of Communication for Development. She has worked with numerous organisations in Cameroon, Tanzania and Germany, including the Cameroon Ministry of Arts and Culture, The World Bank Group in Cameroon, the National Programme for Participatory Development (PNDP), Cameroon. Some of her documentary films have positively influenced government policy, and had far-reaching social and cultural impact on communities, groups and individuals.

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