West Indies (ou les nègres marrons de la liberté)

6 April, 2014 - 12:30
PADDENHOEK
“For too long a time, African cinema has been conceived as a poor cinema, a cinema of approximations where techniques did not match ideas ... Militant cinema can thus be beautiful and rich ... indeed, West Indies ... is no more a West indian film than an African film. It is a film which summons all the people whose past is made out of oppressions, whose present is made out of aborted promises and whose future is left to be conquered.” (Med Hondo)

West Indies (ou les nègres marrons de la liberté)

Med Hondo
,
DZ, MR
,
1979
,
35mm
,
113'

A single-set color musical tracing the history of the West Indies through several centuries of French oppression. “Med Hondo’s West Indies is a revolutionary musical in both senses of the word. This witty, scathing production offers an angry view of West Indian history, using imaginative staging and a fluid visual style. The film’s single set is an enormous slave ship (built in an unused Citroen factory in Paris). Mobile camerawork and frequent narrative shifts take the actors through various vignettes about French colonialists invading the Indies, Carribean natives lured to Paris, the process by which the islands were first settled and a lot more. The material has the potential for overbearing irony but Mr. Hondo has a light touch. With cast members rotating their way through many different roles (the same actors may play slaves, then worried island villagers, then displaced West Indians)... Mr. Hondo leads the film through a long series of well-connected tableaux, culminating in an almost joyous call to arms.” (Janet Maslin)