500 Years Later

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500 Years Later
Directed by Owen 'Alik Shahadah
Produced by Owen 'Alik Shahadah
Ako Oseyaba Mitchell
M. K. Asante, Jr.
Written by M. K. Asante, Jr.
Starring Kimani Nehusi
Molefi Kete Asante
Maulana Karenga
Muhammad Shareef
Paul Robeson, Jr.
Francis Cress Welsing
Amiri Baraka
Bill Cosby
Hakim Adi
Khaleel Muhammad
Mighty Gabby
M. K. Asante, Jr.
Music by Tunde Jegede
Distributed by Codeblack Entertainment
Release dates
October 11, 2005
Running time
108 min.
Language English
Budget $1 million

500 Years Later (፭፻ ዓመታት በኋላ 500 ʿamätatə bähwala) is the title of an independent documentary film directed by Owen 'Alik Shahadah, written by M. K. Asante, Jr. and released in 2005. It won five international film festival awards (including UNESCO "Breaking the Chains Award")[1][2][3]in the category of Best Documentary. 500 Years Later has received praise as well as controversy, both for the genre of the film (creative documentary), and the social-political impact of the film as it relates to race study. The film opened on February 28, 2005, at the Pan-African Awards (PAFF) and won Best Documentary at its premiere. The film made its American television premiere on August 23, 2008, on TV One (Radio One), and Ethiopian Television premiere on October 27, 2007. It was shown nationally in South Africa on December, 14, 2014, on SABC 2.[4][5] In 2010, the sequel Motherland was released.


The film visits five continents, and over twenty countries while charting the legacy of slavery and identifies a direct, or indirect link to crime, drugs, HIV/AIDS, poor education, inferiority complex, low expectations, poverty, corruption, poor health, and underdevelopment to African people globally.


The cast features key figures from the African-American academic world.

Awards and nominations[edit]

UNESCO award and reception[edit]

500 Years Later was the first film to win a UNESCO award for documenting slavery. And was part of UNESCO slave route project started in 1994: "The prize awarded $10,000 to a film that breaks the silence and speaks to the social, historical, economic and psychological impact of the slave trade; a film that raises public awareness of slavery’s historical and contemporary manifestations; a film that gives voice to the dispossessed, reflects their perspectives and articulates their resistance to this dehumanization."[6] UNESCO launched the Slave Route Project in 1994.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Winners at the Wayback Machine (archived November 10, 2007). Zanzibar International Film Festival.
  2. ^ "500 Years Later" at Cinema Politicia.
  3. ^ "Re-Storying Africa", Gauteng Film Commission, 2008.
  4. ^ TV Schedule for SABC2, 2014-12-14.
  5. ^ TV Schedule for SABC2, 2014-12-21.
  6. ^ Swahiliweb.net

External links[edit]