Prod.: Pathé. DCP. D.: 5’. Bn e Col. (from a tinted nitrate).

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

As is typically the case in conquered territories, the colonial authorities in Dakar (capital of French West Africa from 1902) prohibited the display of local flags so as not to encourage autonomist sentiments. And so the Governor’s Palace flew the French tricolour. The shot, roughly in the middle of the film, constitutes the juncture of two concurrent displays of power. On the one hand, economic power, highlighted through the exploration of the port, one of the most commercially important sites in the entire French colonial system, at the beginning of the film. On the other, military power, emphasised by the later sight of Senegalese soldiers practicing under the watchful eye of white officials. When the camera finally relocates to show us the lively marketplace, the shadow of Power apparently fades into the background, but we continue to sense its presence.

Andrea Meneghelli

Copy From

Da: Cineteca di Bologna (Collezione Rodrigo Levoni). Restored in 2021 by Cineteca di Bologna with funding provided by MiBACT at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from a 35mm positive nitrate.