Russia | 2018 | 45 min
Languages : Russian, French, English, Portuguese, Swahili
Subtitles : English, French
Sub-Saharan Africa was long ignored by the USSR but, with the independences of the 1960s, entered the daily lives of the Soviets, who left in their thousands to help Africans “construct socialism” in Bamako, Accra or Conakry. Alexander Markov collected photographic fragments of this epoch in around a hundred films shot by Soviet camera operators to bear witness to the generosity of the humanitarian aid programmes intended for the black continent. Cut into chapters, Our Africa narrates this saga between 1960 and the end of the USSR (1991). Following each other on screen are the magnified simple soldiers of the cooperation and the round of more illustrious personalities: Nkrumah, Lumumba, Nasser, Khrushchev, Brezhnev... Markov is no fool and he re-edits this fine material in order to flush out its propagandist motives. The repetition of certain scenes calls for irony, daughter of distance and time: this collective “Great Utopia” was the work of a handful of irrevocable rulers, whose symbolic figureheads were nonetheless supposed to have been unbolted too, like the statues of the reviled ex-colonisers.