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On January 2 1899, starting from the French Soudan, a french column under the commandment of the captains Voulet and Chanoine is send against the black Sultan Rabah in what is now the Cameroun. Those captains and their african mercenary troops destroy and kill everything they find on their path. The French autority try to stop them sending orders and a second troop but the captains even kill the emissaries who are reaching them. Sarraounia, queen of the Aznas, have heared about the exactions. Clever in war tactics and in witchcraft, she decides to resist and stop those mad men. Written by
Jean-Marie Berthiaume <email@example.com>
One of Hondo's later films, and probably a change in style, this is great filmmaking again. This one is a true epic, stretching the tyrannical and brutal advance of a French army through sub-Saharan Africa and their face-off with the fabled queen named Sarraounia, feared terribly as a powerful witch. The film is elegantly shot and under the cover of a war drama, Hondo leaves traces of his caustic take on colonization as well. In an entertaining, involving and medieval setting, the film provides us great insights into the diversity of Africa, the culture of its people and the bitter, bloody truth hidden behind westernization. The army commander leads his army on, destroying villages on the way using a black army from Sudan, finally halting before the unity and resilience of Sarraounia's people. Eventually, the soldiers declare mutiny, refuse to further kill their own brothers, and strike back in a vengeful way to teach the power drunk and insane commander a lesson. The music, again, is beautiful; it was soothing to the ears. In layers, this is a black comedy too, a take on the superstitions of Africa, a take on the power and glory addiction of the Frenchmen; but not as well done or striking as Oh, Sun. This film is beautiful to look at and a great lesson in history, but the acting pulls back what could have been much better.
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