Screening
Close-up: Sarah Maldoror
Wed 18 Jan 2023, 19:00
BOZAR, Brussels
PART OF
  • In the presence of Annouchka de Andrade
  • Front image: © Bildtjanst H. Nicolaisen
FILM
Aimé Césaire, un homme une terre
,
,
52’

In Aimé Césaire, un homme une terre, Sarah Maldoror paints a portrait of her friend Aimé Césaire, who was a Martinican poet, politician, essayist, activist and one of the founders of the négritude movement, a progressive artistic and political current that defended black culture.

 

A Sarah Maldo...
qui,
caméra au poing,
combat l’oppression,
l’aliénation
et défie
la connerie humaine

Aimé Césaire1

 

“Sarah Maldoror’s brilliant cinematographic work of more than 40 films, reflects a valiant fighter, curious about everything, generous, irreverent, concerned about others, and who marvelously transported the poetics beyond all borders.”

Annouchka de Andrade & Henda Ducados, Sarah Maldoror’s daughters2

 

But for me my dances
my bad nigger dances
the breaking-the-yoke dance
the jailbreak dance
the it-is-beautiful-and-good-and-lawful-to-be-a-Negro dance
for me my dances and may the sun bounce on the racquet of my hands
no, the unequal sun is no longer sufficient
let me address the wind
Wrap yourself around my new growth
lie on my measured fingers
I give you my conscience and its beat of flesh
I give you the fires which grill my weakness
I give you the chain-gang
I give you the marsh I give you the Intourist of the triangular circuit
wind consume
I give you my quick words
consume and wrap
and as you wrap kiss me with a violent trembling
kiss me until I am the furious WE
kiss, kiss US
but also bite
bite to draw blood from our blood!
kiss, my purity is bound to yours alone

Translation of the excerpt from Aimé Césaire's Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, closing the film3

  • 1. “To Sarah Maldo… who, camera in hand, fights oppression, alienation and defies human bullshit.”
  • 2. Annouchka de Andrade & Henda Ducados, “Sarah Maldoror: Behind the cloud / Derrière le nuage,” Press release/communiqué, April 13, 2020. Translation from the French by Beti Ellerson.
    « Son oeuvre cinématographique lumineuse de plus de 40 films, est le reflet d'une vaillante combattante, curieuse de tout, généreuse, irrévérencieuse, soucieuse de l'autre qui porta glorieusement le poétique au-delà de toutes frontières. »
  • 3. Aimé Césaire, Return to my Native Land (New York: Archipelago, 2014), in the 1969 translation by John Berger & Anya Bostock. Originally published in 1939 and re-edited in 1947. Read in the film by Bachir Touré in the original version. Here, you can find a transcription of the film.
FILM
Et les chiens se taisaient
,
,
13’

Et les chiens se taisaient is based on recorded excerpts from a play of the same name by the Martinican poet and politician Aimé Césaire (1913–2008) about the life of a man, a revolutionary, relived by him at the moment of death in the middle of a great collective disaster. His existential dialogue with his mother reverberates around the African sculptures stored at the Musée de l’Homme, the Parisian museum full of colonial plunder whose director was the Surrealist anthropologist Michel Leiris. Since the 1950s, Maldoror and Les Griots, the first all-black Parisian theatre company she co-founded, had been planning to stage this tragic poem, which is finally interpreted here by Maldoror herself and Gabriel Glissant, also integrating three spectators in their game who take the role of silent witnesses.

 

« C’est grâce à Jean-Michel Arnold, l’ancien directeur de la Cinémathèque d’Alger, qui dirigeait le service audiovisuel du CNRS, que le SERDDAV a financé le portrait documentaire Aimé Césaire, un homme une terre diffusé par Antenne 2, puis le court métrage Et les chiens se taisaient, tourné dans les réserves du Musée de l’Homme, où Sarah et Gabriel Glissant interprètent un extrait de la pièce de théâtre de Césaire. Sarah a réalisé cinq films sur ou avec Césaire, de 1976 à 2008. Ils se voyaient souvent à la maison d'édition Présence Africaine ou chez lui dans le XIIIème arrondissement. Césaire était près des gens et Sarah l’a toujours soutenu ; elle ne s’est pas inscrite dans les polémiques sur la Négritude qu’elle considérait comme des problèmes d’intellectuelles. »

Annouchka de Andrade, Maldoror’s daughter1