Cinema 53: Alice Diop and Mati Diop
From the seas off of Senegal to the outskirts of Paris, young people are restless, migrating, staging modern lives in worlds both crumbling and urbane in these short films by award-winning Afro-French filmmakers Mati Diop and Alice Diop. Screening followed by conversation with series co-curators Jennifer Wild (University of Chicago Cinema & Media Studies, Romance Languages & Literatures), Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago, Cinema & Media Studies, Gray Center for Arts + Inquiry) and director of the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University, Terri Francis. Francis is the author of, Josephine Baker’s Oppositional Burlesque, forthcoming from Indiana University Press).
Vers la tendresse/Towards Tenderness (Alice Diop, 2015, 39 min)
Alice Diop’s featurette charts the ragged terrain of masculinity as it follows a band of young men pacing through a modern city, acting how society and their friends expect “men” to act. Their interior monologues, however, reveal other desires. From the director, “We do not listen enough to men on this subject.”
Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009, 16 min)
Winner of the Best Short Award at the Rotterdam International Film Fest, Atlantiques is a spectral tale involving a young man’s treacherous sea migration aboard an overcrowded pirogue from Senegal to Spain.
Mille Soleils /A Thousand Suns (Mati Diop, 2014, 45 min)
A beguiling portrait of Magaye Niang, the nonprofessional actor who starred in Touki Bouki (1973), a landmark of postcolonial African cinema that was directed by Mati Diop’s uncle, Djbril Diop Mambéty. Forty years later, Niang reflects on the fateful similarities between the young cattle herder he played on screen and the Senegalese cowboy he became in reality.
This event is part of Cinema 53's 4-part spring series, Intimités: Everyday Life in Contemporary Afro/French Cinema; co-sponsored by Institut Français, Cultural Services of the Consulat Général de France, France Chicago Center, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.