The Pan-African Festival of Algiers


by William Klein


Algeria, France and Germany / 1969 / 102mins / Documentary / English and French

This documentary film explores both the politics and music of the first Pan-African Cultural Festival. Third World solidarity was in the air in 1969, when the festival was held. Many of the interviewees hold forth about colonialism and neocolonialism, and the need for exploited countries to stick together. Filming in Algeria, Klein and his collaborators interview Eldrige Cleaver and other Black Panthers during their exile. Among the film’s musical highlights is a performance by the legendary Miriam Makeba.

About the Director

William Klein

William Klein (April 19, 1926 – September 10, 2022) was an American-born French photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's list of 100 most influential photographers. Klein trained as a painter, studying under Fernand Léger, and found early success with exhibitions of his work. He soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. He directed feature-length fiction films, numerous short and feature-length documentaries and produced over 250 television commercials. He was awarded the Prix Nadar in 1957, the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in 1999, and the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2011. A retrospective exhibition of his work, William Klein: YES: Photographs, Paintings, Films, 1948–2013, was shown at the International Center of Photography in New York until September 15, 2022. Learn More