“Run comrade, the old world is behind you,” is one of the slogans hoisted by the French 1968 movement, which eventually found its way into Soleil Ô (1969), Med Hondo’s best-known film. Filmmaker, actor, and voice-actor, Med Hondo was born in Mauritania, subsequently emigrated to France where he has been living in the Parisian suburbs for more than fifty years.
A truly self-made man, Med Hondo began to work in theatre, uncompromisingly making his way toward filmmaking. As a director, he has produced films that unveil the political topicality of the African continent’s history and of its diaspora, and to this end has come up with charged imagery that scuttles all codification. At the same time he set out to shift cinema as a representative apparatus and to develop alternative models to European and American production and distribution structures. Med Hondo’s films constitute escape routes from the ignorance of everyday racism, constraints, and prejudices; they open up a space for us, for anger, for powerful images, for pluriversal historiography, for stylistic autonomy, for differing physicalities, colours, and degrees of tension.
His work forms the epicentre of a wide-ranging, research-based and discussion-intensive film and exhibition programme. Curated by Enoka Ayemba, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, and Brigitta Kuster, the programme aims to raise awareness about Med Hondo’s extraordinary body of work, to stimulate its appreciation, and thus contribute to making it accessible for future generations as well.