• February 12, 2021 through February 25, 2021
New Restoration

A crafty and masterful look at neocolonialism, with a wicked sense of humour that doesn’t soothe its bitter sting … You’ll be surprised at how enjoyable this film is, and saddened that the subject is still relevant.”

Radheyan Simonpillai, Now Magazine

A milestone of postcolonial African cinema, Mauritanian director Med Hondo’s inventive, incendiary 1970 feature shared the Golden Leopard at Locarno and announced a major new talent. Newly restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, it is now ripe for rediscovery. A furious howl of resistance against racist oppression, Hondo’s debut is a bitterly funny, stylistically explosive attack on Western capitalism and the legacy of colonialism. Laced with deadly irony and righteous anger, Soleil Ô follows a starry-eyed immigrant (Robert Liensol) as he leaves West Africa and journeys to Paris in search of a job and cultural enrichment—but soon discovers a hostile society in which his very presence elicits fear and resentment. Drawing on the freewheeling stylistic experimentation of the French New Wave, Hondo deploys a dizzying array of narrative and stylistic techniques—animation, docudrama, dream sequences, musical numbers, folklore, slapstick comedy, agitprop—to create a revolutionary landmark of political cinema and a shattering vision of awakening Black consciousness” (Janus Films).

To stream this film:
Click on the Stream” button above.
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This film is available to stream in Canada only.

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The African Auteur You Need to See … Hondo’s films are virtually impossible to find and more relevant than ever … Soleil Ô jumpstarted an underutilized sub-genre of dark comedy and in-your-face brutality, later capitalized by descendants such as Spike Lee.”

Rooney Elmi, TIFF

Rarely has a first film felt so powerful, so effervescent, and so rich as testimony.”

Bernard Cohn, Positif