West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty (West Indies ou les nègres marrons de la liberté)

Dir: Med Hondo

France / Algeria / Mauritania


113 mins



Cyril Aventurin, Fernand Berset, Roland Bertin

One of Med Hondo’s enduring masterpieces, this stunning, rarely screened MGM-inspired musical was, in its day, the most expensive African film ever made.

Adapted by writer Daniel Boukman from his own work and seven years in the making, it takes place entirely on a single set – an enormous slave ship symbolising the relationship between Europe and the Caribbean – as it explores hundreds of years of history, including both the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade and the 20th century immigration of Afro-Caribbean subjects.

A vast musical fresco, West Indies… is a miraculous achievement, boasting a breathtaking array of filmic techniques alongside dazzling choreography, wide-ranging musical styles, sharp satire and captivating and poignant lyricism; all part of a rousing whole that invites you, the viewer, to join in the struggle to help transform the world.

Please note: this film will screen in the evening at BFI Southbank in a screening also open to the public, for which the ICO will have a limited number of comps available. The screening will be introduced by author and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre.

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