The French-Senegalese director Mati Diop (Mati Diop) was awarded the Berlinale Golden Bear for her documentary “Dahomey” regarding the return in November 2021 to Benin of 26 works of art, belonging to the “Bronzes of Benin”, looted by the colonial French military forces.

The film highlights the burning issue of the restoration of works of art that have been seized from Africa by the colonial powers (Britain, France, Belgium… ) and sold to European museums and private collections.

By awarding a film that confronts the issue of the post-colonial era head-on, the jury, chaired by Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, stayed true to the political tradition of this film festival.

“As a Franco-Senegalese, as a filmmaker of African descent, I chose to be among those who refuse to forget, who deny amnesia as a method,” said Matti Diop accepting her award.

“I express my solidarity with the Senegalese who are fighting for democracy and justice,” he said before continuing by expressing “(her) solidarity to Palestine”.

Mati Diop