Documentary Film Festival 2009: “Les hommes de la liberté”


The General Overseas Delegation of the City of Paris [Délégation Générale à l’Outre-mer – DGOM] and the European Overseas Federation [Fédération Européenne des Outremers – FEUDOM] are hosting a second season (after last year’s success) of the documentary film festival “Les hommes de la liberté.” The films will be screened this week, May 11-15, 2009, each evening at 8:00pm, at the auditorium of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris.

The purpose of the film festival is to send a message of hope and empowerment to oppressed people through film, especially in view of this year’s crises in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Reunion, where many questions were left unanswered. Beyond the social and economic issues, looms the identity question, fruit of a colonial past tarnished by injustice, violence, and slavery. These films consider how the memory of peoples from the Caribbean and Africa carries traces of a cultural heritage that has not been fully accepted by the (former) European colonial powers. The films will provoke discussion on questions regarding the signs of the current malaise and the possibility of resolution and reconciliation. The festival seeks to contribute to this essential debate.

Each screening will be followed by debate and discussion between historians and the public to explore various topics seen through different contexts, as they follow a documentary route through Brazil, Benin, Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. The films to be screened are Citoyen Grégoire (Dir. Patrice Forget and Jean-Claude Perron), Les âmes sont venues (Dir. Léa de St. Julien), Haïti face a son histoire (Dir. Antoine Leonard-Maestrati), Noirs (Dir. Jérôme Sesquin), and Un siècle avec Jenny (Dir. Federico Nicotra et Laurent Champonnois).

Two important documentary films on Caribbean culture were also screened before the festival: Antoine Lassaigne’s “Victor Schoelcher, un homme contre l’esclavage” on April 27, and Euzhan Palcy’s “Parcours des dissidents” on May 7.

For full description (in French), see

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