May 11

AFRICAN VISIONS: A COLLABORATION WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS & FILM FESTIVAL

7:00PM – BLACK GIRL
Ousmane Sembène (1966) 65 mins
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult

One of the founding works of African cinema; Senegalese director Sembène’s first feature is a strikingly complex exploration of racial and cultural prejudice that combines the social-realist project of neo-realism with the spare but freewheeling aesthetics of the nouvelle vague. Based on a real event, this pioneering postcolonial film follows a young Senegalese woman who moves from Dakar to the Riviera, first as nanny and then maid to a French family.

CTEQ ANNOTATION:
‘Introduction to Black Girl’ by Rahul Hamid.

Preceded by

Borom sarret (1963) 22 mins.
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult
This tale of an impoverished cart driver in Dakar is widely considered to be the first film made by a black African in Africa.

Both films have been restored by The Film Foundation World Cinema Project, courtesy of Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.


8:40PM – PETIT À PETIT
Jean Rouch (1970) 96 mins
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult

Rouch’s “sequel” to the celebrated Jaguar is in many ways a more profound, playful and ambitious work of “ethno-fiction”. Several young men from the city of Niamey in Niger visit Paris to undertake an ethnographic study of high-rise buildings and the uses Parisians make of them. Made in the wake of May ’68, Rouch’s bracing combination of improvised fiction and observational documentary is a key work of postcolonial cinema and a profound instance of “reverse” ethnography. Parisians are held up as objects of study, reworking many of the devices—observations on style and manners, callipers to measure anatomy—familiar from colonialism.


Artists and creatives have always been at the vanguard of social change—we rely on them to hold a mirror to the uneasy truths of our times and reflect our stories,” the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival mission statement reads.

The same reasoning could be said to underlie the Melbourne Cinémathèque’s commitment to screening significant films from the complete history of cinema; from the earliest silent films to recent digital experimentations, cinema is a bellwether of our direction in the world.

In the continuation of a partnership formed in 2014, this screening shows cinema to be a truly global art form. It begins with Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène’s visionary debut feature before turning the colonial gaze back onto its European origins in Jean Rouch’s fittingly collaborative film Petit à Petit.

hraff

April 12 & April 14
OPENING NIGHTS: MARLENE DIETRICH

April 19 – May 5
THE BIG CARNIVAL: THE FILMS OF BILLY WILDER

May 12 – May 26
CAST A DARK SHADOW: THE BEAUTIFUL SADNESS OF DIRK BOGARDE

June 2 – June 16
WILDFLOWERS: DANCING, DESIRE AND FREEDOM IN THE FILMS OF GILLIAN ARMSTRONG (Postponed)

June 30 – July 14
DRIFTING STATES: THE FILMS OF APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL

August 25 + Further dates (TBC)
JEAN COCTEAU: THE POETRY OF DREAMS

September 1 – September 15
REACHING BEYOND THE FRAME: THE POETIC CINEMA OF ABBAS KIAROSTAMI