Mauritania

Med Hondo – Soleil Ô AKA Oh, Sun (1967)

Quote:
The Mauritanian director Med Hondo’s bitterly insightful, artistically freewheeling 1970 film begins with an antic sketch of the European colonization that subjugated and impoverished Africans. It depicts, with sardonic fury, the adventures of an unnamed young African man (Robert Liensol) who arrives in Paris and, with naïve optimism, seeks his fortune among his colonizers. He considers himself at home in France, but soon discovers the extent of his exclusion from French society. Facing blatant discrimination in employment and housing, he and other African workers organize a union, to little effect; seeking help from African officials in Paris, he finds them utterly corrupt and unsympathetic. Read More »

Abderrahmane Sissako – Rostov-Luanda (1998)

Born in Mauritania and raised in Mali, Abderrahmane Sissako received a scholarship to study film in Moscow, after graduating from school. To learn Russian, he was sent to Rostov on the Don river for an entire year. On the endless train ride from Moscow to Rostov, he met Baribanga, an Angolan student who was going to the same language school. That year, far from home, the two Africans became friends. Almost two decades later, Sissako decides to search for Baribanga. Rostov-Luanda tells two stories, the search for the long-lost friend, that leads to an encounter with present-day Angola. Read More »