"The most audacious of films and at the same time the most humble.” Hailed on its release by Jean-Luc Godard as a major sign of the cinema that would become the New Wave, Jean Rouch’s chronicle of the daily life of three young Nigerian immigrants in the capital of Ivory Coast questions and reinvents the separation between fiction and documentary, while bearing witness to a playful freedom that opens up access to more accurate, profound realities. The main character of the film, Oumarou Ganda—aka “Edward G. Robinson”—later became one of the most important African directors from the 1970s onward.
Afrique sur SeineDirected by Mamadou Sarr and Paulin Soumanou Vieyra.
France, 1955, DCP, black & white, 22 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Institut Français
The first film directed by Black African filmmakers (with the exception of the Malagasy documentary Rasalama Martiora, shot in 1937 by Philippe Raberojo) is a manifesto of an identity that is still seeking its own contours. Vibrant with hopes of decolonization, this short film is also marked by the conceptions and illusions of its time, while painting a warm portrait of the communities that came to Paris from the Sahel.