African Visions: A Collaboration with Melbourne Cinémathèque

We are excited to announce HRAFF is partnering with the Melbourne Cinémathèque again in 2016, screening rare and significant films from the complete history of cinema.

This year, we’re examining postcolonial themes through French New Wave, and African heritage cinema.

Senegal auteur Ousmane Sembene exposes colonial destruction and power dynamics to devastating effect in Black Girl (1966) and in the short Borom Sarret (1963), while French director Jean Rouch skewers “ethnographic cinema” in Petit a Petit (1970).

This session will take place on May 11 at 7pm, tickets will be available to purchase on April 7. The full HRAFF 2016 program will be launched on April 6.

Ousmane Sembene / Senegal / 1966 / 65 mins / Narrative



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.

Ousmane Sembene / Senegal / 1963 / 22 mins / Narrative

This tale of an impoverished cart driver in Dakar is widely considered to be the first film made by an African filmmaker in Africa.

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

Jean Rouch / France / 1970 / 93 mins / Narrative



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.

Spread the Word & Share

Subscribe To Our Newsletter