Black And White In Color

"Very Good"

Black And White In Color Review


Its message is more enduring in regards to war than in regards to race relations, but Black and White in Color is nonetheless a classic still worthy of its Best Foreign Film Oscar, won way back in 1977.

Released just in time for a wave of anti-French sentiment, the film follows a French colony in Africa's Ivory Coast on the eve of World War I. The Frenchmen discover that war has been declared, so they figure they'll do their part by attacking the German colony up the river. After all, they have six rifles, and one of them's an automatic.

So off to war they march -- or rather, their servants do, carrying the white folk on palanquins. They soon stop for a lovely picnic. When machine gun fire is heard in the distance, they run back to the safety of the colony. The film is about hubris and foolishness (and, of course, racism) -- and it all comes courtesy of a director who'd never shot anything but commercials before.

One might assume the goings-on are the result of a rabid Francophobe, but director Jean-Jacques Annaud is, of course, French, even if he does mostly make English-language movies. What's he got against his motherland? On the DVD Annaud offers some explanation about his motivations via a short interview shot earlier this year. In fact, the movie is a fable, but it is a based on a real small-scale African skirmish that occurred during the WWI era.

Black and White's DVD also includes one of the most ambitious extras I've ever seen: The entire 90 minute film The Sky Above, The Mud Below, an Oscar-winning documentary from 1961 produced by B&W producer Arthur Cohn, one of the earliest looks into native life on New Guinea. It's a seminal, if straightforward, work.

Aka Noirs et blancs en couleur.



Black And White In Color

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 8th May 1977

Production compaines: Reggane Films, Artco-Film, France 3 Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Sergeant Bosselet, as Marinette, as Hubert Fresnoy, as Caprice, as Assomption, as Père Jean de la Croix, Marius Beugre Boignan as Barthelmy, Claude Legros as Jacques Rechampot, Dora Doll as Maryvonne, Baye Macoumba Diop as Lamartine, Jacques Monnet as Père Simon, Dieter Schidor as Kraft, Aboubakar Toine as Fidele, Marc Zuber as Major Anglais, Jacques Dufilho as Paul Rechampot

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