Tag Archives: Med Hondo

Med Hondo – Sarraounia (1986)

Sarrouina (Keïta), a young warrior queen of the Azna tribe well-schooled in the arts of herbalism and warfare, leads her people to victory against a neighboring tribe. But the real trial of strength for her comes when the French army marches south to widen its colonial grip on the African continent. The second half of the film focuses on the French, acidly but plausibly satirized as little tyrants whose megalomania swells in proportion with their failure to grasp the realities of the culture they are trying to crush. Grounded in careful historical research, Sarraounia is a superbly crafted and expansive film that strikes a celebratory, assertive tone. Read More »

    Med Hondo – West Indies (1979)

    One of Hondo’s enduring masterpieces, West Indies is a stunning widescreen musical that takes place entirely on a single set – a giant slave ship that symbolizes the triangular relationship between Africa, Europe and the Caribbean – as it explores the parallels between the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade and the contemporary migration of Afro-Caribbean subjects to former colonial metropoles. In a breathtaking display of virtuosity, Hondo deftly uses an array of filmic techniques (a vertically oriented mise en scène, dexterous tracking shots, beautifully orchestrated long takes) to explore four centuries of history within his single location, signalling temporal shifts through fluid camera movements and sumptuous staging; meanwhile, the remarkable range of musical styles, witty, poignant, and rousing lyrics, and brilliant choreography dazzle the senses and invite the spectator to join in the struggle to transform the world. –Aboubakar Sanogo Read More »