Mati Diop – Mille soleils AKA A thousand suns (2013)

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The film accompanies Magaye Niyang, a star of Touki-Bouki, a 1972 classic directed by her own uncle Djibril Diop. Following this path, we are witness of Niyang travel to a special screening of the film, which has a public release in his old town. Niyang seems detached and with a heavy longing from the past, and therefore, the film debris permeates everything with unescapable sorrow and fascination.

Diop film is, first and foremost, a nostalgic travel through memory, time and recreation. It is also a watermark in contemporary experimental documentary, a very intimate portrait of a lost long journey through the past that isn’t returning anymore, a detachment of rejected fame, recognition and connection which is heavily grounded on a legacy that belongs to the past, and that connects directly to a country (Senegal) and its heritage, which is sometimes feel excruciating for the old ones (a testimony such as the taxi scene in the film, where the cab driver longs for changes, and claims that the old generation had done nothing for that). Continue reading