‘Dahomey’ wins Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival

Mati Diop’s documentary Dahomey triumphed at the Berlin International Film Festival, clinching the prestigious Golden Bear award, per aljazeera.com. The film delves into the contentious topic of Europe’s restitution of looted African art, with a spotlight on the Benin bronzes. Diop expressed gratitude for the recognition, noting that the award honour is also for the community portrayed in the film.

Dahomey amplifies the struggle for the return of looted art, advocating for the principle of restitution. It serves as a poignant reminder of the broader significance of addressing cultural heritage issues, not just within the film industry but across Europe and beyond.

The documentary’s narrative, partly articulated from the perspective of the looted artefacts themselves, adds a haunting layer to the film. Ghezo’s voice, distorted and disembodied, reflects on years of darkness and captivity, amplifying the emotional depth of the story.

Mati Diop Image credit: John Macdougall/AFP

Moreover, Dahomey captures the vibrant energy of college campus debates surrounding the artefacts’ return, reminiscent of the fervour of the 1960s. These discussions inject the film with a contemporary relevance, highlighting the ongoing discourse on cultural restitution.


Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date