Matthieu Diop's Berlin competition Dahomey Lands at Les Films du Lozenge

The documentary „Dahomey” was directed by Cannes prize winner Matty Diop („Atlantic”) and is slated for competition at the Berlinale, represented internationally by Paris-based Les Films du Lozange.

The feature marks the return of the French-Senegalese talent as a director after winning the Grand Prize at Cannes in 2019 with „Atlantique.” Diop, a well-known actor („Fire”) is considered one of the leading lights. A New Wave of African and Diaspora Cinema.

In „Dahomey,” Diop explores the issue of colonialism through the story of priceless artworks restored to Benin in November 2021 after being stolen by French colonialists in 1892 when the African country was called the Kingdom of Dahomey.

The documentary follows the journey of 26 royal treasures looted by French colonial troops in the Kingdom of Dahomey, displayed at the Musée du Quai de Branly in Paris, and returned to Cotonou in Benin. Diop „brings artifacts back to life and gives voice to the demands of a new generation through a stylized and innovative visual,” Les Films du Losange said in a statement. The documentary has a political dimension, weaving debates among students at the country's Abomi-Kalavi University.

Diop has reunited with the producers of „Atlantique” at Les Films du Paul and Senegal's Fanta Cy. Les Films du Losange is handling international sales and will distribute the documentary in France.

„Dahomi” is one of several French co-productions announced as part of the Berlinale competition, along with Abderrahman Chisago's „Black Tea,” another film focusing on the African diaspora.

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