Sarrouina (Keïta), a young warrior queen of the Azna tribe well-schooled in the arts of herbalism and warfare, leads her people to victory against a neighboring tribe. But the real trial of strength for her comes when the French army marches south to widen its colonial grip on the African continent. The second half of the film focuses on the French, acidly but plausibly satirized as little tyrants whose megalomania swells in proportion with their failure to grasp the realities of the culture they are trying to crush. Grounded in careful historical research, Sarraounia is a superbly crafted and expansive film that strikes a celebratory, assertive tone. —Harvard Film Archive
Med Hondo (born Mohamed Abid Hondo, 1936) is a Mauritanian film director, producer, screenwriter, actor and voice actor. He emigrated to France in 1959 and began to work in film during the 1960s. He received critical acclaim for his 1967 directorial début Soleil O.
Hondo was born in 1936 in Ain Oul Beri Mathar in the Atar region of Mauritania. His mother was Mauritanian and his father Senegalese.In 1954 he went to live in Rabat, Morocco to train to become a chef at the International Hotel School there. He emigrated to France in 1959 and found work first in Marseilles and then in Paris, variously as a cook, farm labourer, waiter, dockworker and delivery man. He found that he, and other African immigrants, were unable to find jobs in their chosen professions, and in the menial jobs they could find, were paid less than the French. The difficulty of making a living during this time, as well as racism he experienced, eventually provided inspiration for his films, including Soleil… read more