Europeans in particular have always projected their ideas of the continent onto Africa in grand fashion. This specific view is less a consequence of (post-)colonialism than its precondition. African Mirror depicts this complex relationship by way of example. In Switzerland, a country without its own colonies, travel writer, photographer, filmmaker and public speaker René Gardi (1909–2000) shaped a whole generation’s image of Africa. Using Gardi’s extensive stock of footage, mainly of Cameroon, and recordings as well as texts from his unpublished diaries, Mischa Hedinger has constructed a film essay using only archive material, which seeks less to create a portrait of an adventurer than to carry out a work of cinematographic field research. It is about the transcontinental history of media, their means of production and how in 20th-century Switzerland both were influenced significantly by one flamboyant character. African Mirror does indeed function as a mirror which equally serves to reflect on present-day images of Africa – and not only for the Swiss.
German, Swiss German, French
Documentary form84’ · Colour & Black/White
Born in Jegenstorf, Switzerland in 1984. He studied Video, as well as Design, Art and Film. Hedinger lives and works as a freelance filmmaker and editor in Zurich.Filmography
2013 Assessment; 49 min. 2019 African Mirror
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019
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