Monangambeee, 1969, Sarah Maldoror (Foto: Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.)

Sarah Maldoror

May 24 to 30, 2018

Sarah Maldoror belongs to the first and most discussed filmmakers of the African continent and diaspora. For Maldoror, "an image is the realized movement of thoughts." With her early films Monangambeee (1969) and Sambizanga (1972), she established new aesthetic standards by inextricably linking cinematic moving images to the actions of political movements. Adamantly advocating an African revolution, she criticized empty talk of "revolutionary cinema," describing her work as "cinéma utilitaire" – a cinema that can prove useful in the ultimate defeat of oppressive (thought) images, actions and structures.

Originally of Guadeloupean descent, born and raised in France, she co-founded the theater troupe Les Griots in Paris, where she worked with J. Genet, M. Hondo, T. Bissainthe, R. Liensol, A. Samb and T. Bassori among others. Through her involvement in the liberation struggles in Angola and Guinea-Bissau, she decided to become a filmmaker and studied in Mark Donskoï's class in Moscow. Having completed her studies, she returned to the African continent and the side of the liberation movements. From 1963 to 1970, Sarah Maldoror lived in Algiers, where she practiced cinema as a weapon and a means of applied solidarity.

She then resumed her work in France, creating around 40 productions and numerous unfinished projects. While film critics mostly give attention to her early films, the insightfulness or her later work remains unrecognized, as does its love of poetry, painting and literature, and the value of her indefatigable work on developing a meaningful language of (self-) liberating cinema.

Sarah Maldoror, 1974: "It is time to turn a new page. We are presently confronted with problems that demand a profound understanding of our respective national realities as well as an awareness of the roles that fall to us filmmakers in changing these realities." (Viktoria Metschl)

Sarah Maldoror and her daughter and fellow campaigner Annouchka de Andrade are both expected to visit Vienna on this occasion. Further events will take place on May 23 at 7 p.m. at the mumok kino and on May 26 at 7 p.m. at the Depot. We are grateful to Simon Inou/fresh for his support.

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