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TONTON MANU

Documentary |France | 2021 | 90 min | French
(English subtitles)
Director: Thierry Dechilly, Patrick Puzenat

Manu Dibango is eighty years old. Smiling like a kid, he blows out his birthday cake candles, followed by applause. An hour and a half later, he is eighty-five years old. Between these two milestone birthdays, the film directors followed in the day to day footsteps of this smiling, debonair giant; for whom the expression, “quiet strength” seems to have been coined. Composer, musician, journalist, an ambassador of the Francophone world, honoured and distinguished around the world; Manu Dibango has remained himself wherever he may find himself.

Selections:

  • 2021 ARFF Amsterdam // International Awards 2021

  • 2021 ARFF Paris // International Awards 2021

  • LoudSoulMusic Festival 2021

  • Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Film Reviews:

 

Beyond the simple portrait, this musical documentary which follows Manu in his life as an artist and public figure, hand-held camera, over more than 5 years, is a skilful reflection on the role played by African artists in the promotion of the Francophonie and living together. Manu was well aware of the trauma caused by years of colonization, he who had collaborated with Joseph Kabassele Tshamala, the author of the famous hit Indépendance Cha Cha which celebrated independence in Black Africa, but he always had words that were both proud and soothing.

— Cinescribe (translated from French)

 

I discovered a great man and an immense musical work and I spent an hour and a half with him. Because this film invites you to follow him as closely as possible for five years between his 80th  and 85th  years... a man of incredible freshness with expressions of great philosophy. I liked the way the film tells us about the man: no chronological story with classic voice-over but a road movie without commentary where he tells his story himself and with some beautiful guests whom I let you discover

And finally we learn all the dimensions of the man... artistic, human and even political. I recommend this film to everyone, it should be shown to children in schools because this man was of deep wisdom and I did not expect such an encounter. A lesson in humanity, run to  it!

— Viewer review on the Allociné website