Directed by : Med HONDO
Year of production : 1969 Country : MAURITANIA, FRANCE Length : 98 minutes
In an unnamed French colony in West Africa, black men line up before a white priest for baptism and renaming—the first step in a process that simultaneously deracinates and subjugates them. In France, colonial blacks, encouraged by propaganda, arrive to seek a better life. What they find is unemployment or a handful of ‘dirty’ jobs, unacceptable living conditions, naked racism, and bureaucratic indifference. Searching for a new form, Med Hondo has eschewed all conventional narrative. From the stylized and surreal opening sequences to the episodic adventures of a particular man, the director presents a series of imaginative set pieces, linked by voice-over narrative, that investigate and dramatize a complex of interrelated themes. A scathing attack on colonialism, the film is also a shocking exposé of racism and a brutal and ironic indictment of Western capitalist values.