Sabzian and Bozar welcome French filmmaker Alice Diop. For six years now, Sabzian has asked a guest to write a State of Cinema article, a text that holds cinema up to the light, an invitation to reflect on what cinema means, could mean, or should mean today. In addition, Alice Diop has chosen a film that matches that text.
Alice Diop was born in 1979 and raised in the Cité des 3000, a neighbourhood in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. In her work, she sets out to make visible those people she is “conditioned to reject”, to anchor their place in film history. She studied history at the University of Evry and documentary film at La Femis in Paris. She made her debut in 2005 with La tour du monde, a docuseries in which she returns to the suburb where she grew up. This was followed in 2011 by La mort de Danton, about a 25-year-old black man from the Paris suburbs who tries to escape violence by taking an acting course. It was later followed by La permanence (2016), and Nous (2021), among others. Saint Omer, Diop’s first feature-length film immediately won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Since 2022, Diop has been co-curating the programme for “La Cinémathèque idéale des banlieues du monde” at the Centre Pompidou.
Diop has chosen the film Sambizanga (1972) by Sarah Maldoror to accompany her State of Cinema address. The French filmmaker will be reciting her speech in the Hall Henry Le Boeuf, followed by a conversation with Maldoror’s daughter Annouchka de Andrade, former artistic director of the International Film Festival of Amiens. With her sister Henda Ducados, she has developed a project to preserve and share the work of their parents, Sarah Maldoror and Mário de Andrade.
You can buy tickets at Bozar or on their website.
Photo Alice Diop © Evelyn Freja
The restoration of Sambizanga is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the FEPACI and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – to help locate, restore and disseminate African cinema.