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  7. Non-Aligned Film Archives: You Can’t Live with Other People’s Memories

Non-Aligned Film Archives: You Can’t Live with Other People’s Memories

Curated by Annabelle Aventurin

Non-Aligned Film Archives is an ongoing program curated by researchers and archivists Léa Morin and Annabelle Aventurin in collaboration with Open City Documentary Film Festival. Each session revolves around a single lost work that is invoked through films that have survived.

Annabelle Aventurin, archivist and programmer, coordinates the restoration of films by director Med Hondo at Ciné-Archives in collaboration with the Harvard Film Archive. She co-founded FLiMM, Festival Libre du Moyen Métrage in Paris and directed her first documentary essay, Le Roi n'est pas mon cousin, in 2022.


Samba le Grand (Samba the Great)
Mustapha Alassane, Niger 1977, 14 min. French with English subtitles, digital (from 35mm)

Réou Takh
Mahama Johnson Traoré, Senegal 1972, 46 min. French with English subtitles, digital (from 16mm)

Trailer for Sarraounia
Med Hondo, Burkina Faso, France 1986, 3 min. Dioula and French, 35mm

Nelson Makengo, DRC 2018, 12 min. French with English subtitles, HD

In the late 1980s, poet and playwright Abdoul War and filmmaker Med Hondo began to sketch out a 28-episode fictional television series on the history of Black Africa. Inspired by the writing of Burkinabe historian and politician Joseph Ki Zerbo, the project would encompass a pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history of Africa. Though it was never realized, War describes how the project was conceived as “imperative for all those who are convinced that a people cannot really face their future without having a vision of their own past. You can’t live with other people’s memories. History is the collective memory of peoples.” Made by Hondo and his contemporaries, the films in this screening each allude to a different episode in War and Hondo’s planned series: E’ville evokes Lumuba, Réou Takh the slave trade; Samba le Grand oral history; Trailer for Sarraounia the struggle against colonial domination. (AA)

 In collaboration with the conference Atmospheres of Alienation, Nov 7&8, Institute of Art History-FU Berlin & Spore Initiative