Mati Diop's 'Mille Soleils' ('A Thousand Suns') To Premiere At International Film Fest - Marseille

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 14, 2013 12:54 PM
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Djibril Diop Mambéty's "Touki Bouki" (1973).
Courtesy of the African Women In Cinema blog, Mati Diop's next film, Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns), will make its world premiere at the 24th edition of the International Film Festival - Marseille, which runs from July 2-8, 2013.

The documentary explores the legacy the seminal 1972 film, Touki Bouki, made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety

In the film, Diop journeys in search of her origins through the footprints left by film, and along the way gets to know Touki Bouki's two main actors, thirty five years later.

Color me definitely intrigued 

Based on his own story and script, Djibril Diop Mambéty reportedly made Touki Bouki with a $30,000 budget. Often compared to films of the French New Wave, Mambety puts his stamp on a film that incorporates stylistic flourishes that were considered uncharacteristic of most African films at the time. The film both highlights and struggles with the hybridization of Senegal.

There's an insolence that’s expressed in it, we could say, a freedom from formality, as well as a great sense of humor.

As Mati Diop has insisted, it’s also the film where her uncle reveals himself the most.

Her exploration of Touki Bouki should be an interesting watch. I don't believe a documentary has ever been made that celebrates the film, and considers its legacy, given its significance in African cinema history.

It's a film (and I could name several others) that really deserves a proper restoration and re-release in HD, preserving but also reintroducing it to new generations, and those who are just not aware of it.

At the moment, you can find it on DVD, and VHS, although it's still not readily accessible.  

Mati is the daughter of Senegalese jazz musician Wasis Diop, by the way.

No trailer for A Thousand Suns yet, but I'll be on the look-out for it.

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