Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Berlinale Shorts (Out of competition)


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“Monangambeee!” Passed from village to village, this cry struck terror in the hearts of even Angola’s bravest. Men, women and children took flight and sought protection in the bush. The cry translates as ‘white death’, and signified certain deportation with no return. The cry once accompanied the arrival of Portuguese slave traders and in the 1960’s it was used as an identifying sign and signal to gather for the People’s Liberation Front. A woman visits her husband in prison. When departing, she promises him a “Complet”, but the guard betrays him by informing the prison director. Based on a misunderstanding over which language the woman speaks, and the meaning of the word, it comes to interrogation and torture. Sarah Maldoror, whose first film was produced with the assistance of the Conference of National Organisations of the Portuguese Colonies and with technical aid from the National People’s Army, consciously decided against “descriptive realism” and for a mimetic depiction of feelings. The director says: “I feel at home wherever I am. I am from everywhere and from nowhere.” In her stance for a cinema that serves the cause of African liberation, that makes her even more resolute.

Sarah Maldoror

Algeria 1969


18’ · Black/White


Mohamed Zinet
Carlos Pestana
Elisa Andrade


Sarah Maldoror
Sarah Maldoror, Mario de Andrade, Serge Michel
Département Orientation et information du Front National de libération


Sarah Maldoror

Born in 1938, the French filmmaker founded the first black theatre company in France in 1956 before going to Moscow to study cinema. She has since made over 30 films which focus on important themes from both Africa's history and present, seen from a black perspective. In 1971 Monangambeee was presented at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes.

Filmography (selection)

1969 Monangambeee; short film 1970 Des fusils pour Banta 1972 Sambizanga 1973 Saint-Denis sur Avenir; documentary 1974 Et les chiens se taisaient; documentary 1977 Aimé Césaire - un homme une terre; documentary 1979 Fogo, île de feu; documentary · Un carnaval dans le Sahel; documentary 1980 Carnaval en Guinée Bissau; documentary 1981 Un dessert pour Constance 1982 L’Hôpital de Leningrad 1985 Le passager du Tassili 1986 Aimé Césaire - le masque des mots; documentary 1989 Vlady - Peintre; documentary 1995 Léon G. Damas; documentary 1997 L’enfant cinéma; short film 1998 La tribu du bois de l’é; documentary 2001 Scala Milan A.C; short film 2003 La route de l’esclave; documentary 2005 Les oiseaux mains; animation 2008 Ana Mercedes Hoyos; documentary 2009 Eia pour Césaire; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

World sales

Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.