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.
“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 daughters1
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
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 film2
- 1Annouchka 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. »
- 2Aimé 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.