Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Med Hondo. Restoration funded by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project.
A furious cry of resistance against racist oppression and a revolutionary landmark of political cinema, this feature debut from Mauritanian director Med Hondo is a bitterly funny and dazzlingly experimental attack on capitalism and the legacy of colonialism. A loosely constructed narrative of the travails of an accountant confidently arriving in Paris to pursue his dreams, the film meticulously uncovers the challenges he faces, including racial, housing and employment discrimination along with sexual objectification. For Med Hondo, filming the migrant condition entails going beyond consequences and using caustic humor and imagination to analyze causalities (which include colonialism, the structures of capitalism and the implications of neocolonialism) in order to effect change. The film received the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 1970, instantly securing Hondo’s place as one of the giants of African and world cinema.
Annabelle Aventurin is a film archivist and responsible for the conservation and distribution of Med Hondo’s archives at Ciné-Archives, French Communist Party and workers’ movement film collection based in Paris. In 2021, alongside the Harvard Film Archive she coordinated the restoration of Hondo’s films West Indies (1979), and Sarraounia (1986). She is also a film programmer. In 2022, she completed her first documentary film, Le Roi n’est pas mon cousin (30 min, France/Guadeloupe) which has been screened at the Cinéma du Réel (Paris) and Third Horizon Film Festival (Miami).