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April 8—15, 2024

Warsaw

West Indies


Are all musicals little more than silly stories with a happy ending? Nothing could be more different from the truth. The very nature of the genre allows filmmakers to explore complex and challenging themes: they are often more easily palatable when dressed in a camp costume, and deeper reflection can unfold after the film has ended. Med Hondo goes further than anyone has gone before – weaponizes the musical form in order to strike Europe right where it hurts the most. West Indies is unabashedly theatrical: against the background of a multi-story set assembled in an old warehouse, the film conveys the key events in the history of colonialism. Manipulative, unbearably narcissistic Frenchmen with imperial ambitions wield power over a ship full of slaves as it navigates from place to place. Spanning several centuries of oppression and suffering, the narrative is at once abstract and brutally realistic. One of the most iconic achievements of North African cinema, the film was digitally restored in 2023.

Patrycja Mucha

Med Hondo (1935–2019) was a Mauritanian-born French director, screenwriter and actor, one of the founding fathers of African cinema. He started out as an actor in the theater and television, and directed his debut film, Soleil O, in 1970. His other films include the documentary film Les Bicots-nègres, vos voisins (1974) and West Indies (1979), a landmark film in the history of African cinema.

screening co-funded by

DATE

April 12, 2024

TIME

6:00 PM

VENUE

Kino Atlantic A

COPY / OTHERS

DATE

April 13, 2024

TIME

10:30 AM

VENUE

Kino Atlantic B

COPY / OTHERS

ENGLISH TITLE

West Indies

ORIGINAL TITLE

West Indies ou les Nègres marrons de la liberté

LANGUAGE

French

SUBTITLES

Polish, English

SECTION

DIRECTOR

DURATION

115 min

YEAR

1979

COUNTRY

France, Algeria, Mauritania

SALES

Ciné-Archives

TRIGGER WARNING

???

PRODUCER

Med Hondo

CAST

Cyril Aventurin, Fernand Berset, Roland Bertin, Gérard Bloncourt

SCREENPLAY

Daniel Boukman

CINEMATOGRAPHY

François Catonné (colour)

EDITING

Youcef Tobni

SCORE

Georges Rabol, Frank Valmont

COSTUME DESIGN

Michèle Cerf, Ghyslain Martin

ART DIRECTION

Jacques Saulnier

ACCOLADES

#152 on the list of The Greatest Films of All Time by “Sight & Sound” (2022)

DECADE

EDITION