Afrique sur Seine. 1955. Senegal/France. Directed by Mamadou Sarr, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 22 min.
One of the first films directed by Black Africans (an earlier instance is the 1937 Malagasy documentary Rasalama Maritiora by Philippe Raberojo), Afrique sur Seine shows the early stirrings of a postcolonial identity. Vibrant with hopes of independence and freedom, yet still marked by the conventional attitudes of its time, this short film offers an affectionate, rousing portrait of the communities who migrated to Paris from the Sahel. Courtesy Villa Albertine - Institut Français and Les Films du Jeudi
Moi un noir. 1958. France. Written and directed by Jean Rouch. With Omarou Ganda, Petit Touré, Alassane Maiga. DCP. In French, Italian; English subtitles. 70 min.
“The most audacious of films and at the same time the most humble.” Hailed at its release by Jean-Luc Godard as a harbinger of the French New Wave, Jean Rouch’s loose chronicle of daily life among three young Nigerian immigrants in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan questions the distinction between fiction and documentary, offering a different, perhaps more profound, reality born of the two. The protagonist of the film, Oumarou Ganda—aka “Edward G. Robinson”—would in the 1970s become an important director in his own right. Courtesy Icarus Films