From Monday 13 July we're partially reopening. Everyone who visits us will need a ticket in advance. Find out more

Soleil O (18*)

Returning the Colonial Gaze

Med Hondo's incendiary Soleil O

One of the first films depicting the experience of migrating from the African continent to France, this is a key work of postcolonial cinema.

Jean is a Mauritanian-born accountant, who arrives in Paris to pursue his dreams. Through his experiences, the film explores many of the challenges facing immigrants in France: menial jobs, unacceptable living conditions, naked racism and bureaucratic indifference. The accumulation of injustices finally breaks his composure and leads to a political awakening.

But this is no grim social realism: the story is told with caustic humour and pace, and in a fragmented, non-linear style deriving in part from the European avant-garde, in part from West African oral traditions. The film’s politics are some of the most radical in our season, with colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and Western capitalism all in its crosshairs.

Mauritania 1970 Dir Med Hondo 105 min Digital presentation

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Med Hondo. Restoration funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

World Cinema Project

The Film Foundation


Membership for film-lovers

Immerse yourself in movie magic with 20% off cinema tickets for you and a guest, Members’ Sunday Screenings and exclusive members’ events

Barbican Cinema 3