The World Cinema Project (WCP) preserves and restores neglected films from around the world. To date, 32 films from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, and the Middle East have been restored, preserved and exhibited for a global audience. The WCP also supports educational programs, including Restoration Film Schools; intensive, results-oriented workshops allowing students and professionals worldwide to learn the art and science of film restoration and preservation. All WCP titles are available for exhibition rental by clicking "Book This Film."

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MEXICO | 1936


Director: Fred Zinnemann, Emilio Gómez Muriel

WRITTEN BY: Agustín Velázquez Chávez, Paul Strand

EDITING: Emilio Gómez Muriel, Gunther von Fritsch


ADAPTED BY: Emilio Gómez Muriel, Fred Zinnemann and Henwar Rodakiewicz

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Silvestre Revueltas

SOUND: Roberto, Joselito Rodriguez

FROM: Cinemateca de la UNAM, Mexico

STARRING: Silvio Hernández (Miro), David Valle González (Monopolist), Rafael Hinojosa (Politician), Antonio Lara (El Zurdo), Miguel Figueroa and native fishermen


LANGUAGE: Spanish with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 61 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Secretaría de Educación Pública

Restored in 2009 by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

The film – the first (and last) of its kind – was expected to play a small part in the Government’s plan to educate millions of illiterate citizens throughout the enormous country and bring them out of their isolation. […] The picture was to be made for the Federal Department of Fine Arts, headed by composer Carlos Chávez. The producer would be Paul Strand. […] We had recruited practically all ‘actors’ from among the local fishermen, who needed to do no more than be themselves. They were splendid and loyal friends, and working with them was a joy. In addition to acting, they carried all the equipment, rowed the boats and did a multitude of other jobs, earning more money than ever before – forty-five cents per day, per man – and enjoying themselves hugely. […] I’m told that some years later the Nazis found the negative in Paris and burned it. A few prints still exist. –Fred Zinnemann


The restoration of Redes used the best surviving materials, namely a 35mm safety duplicate negative and a positive print preserved at the Filmoteca de la UNAM in Mexico. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.

Image: © Courtesy of Filmoteca de la UNAM

TAIWAN | 1983



Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien

WRITTEN BY: T'ien-wen Chu


SOUND: Duu-Chih Tu

STARRING: Chun-fang Chang, Shih Chang, Doze Niu, Chao P'eng-chue, Chung-Hua Tou, Li-Yin Yang


LANGUAGE: Mandarin with English subtitles


RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

Restored by the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique in collaboration with Hou Hsiao-hsien and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

CUBA | 1968


Director: Humberto Solás

WRITTEN BY: Humberto Solás, Julio Garcia Espinosa, Nelson Rodríguez

EDITING: Nelson Rodríguez


PRODUCER: Raúl Canosa, Camilo Vives

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Pedro Garcia Espinosa, Roberto Miqueli

STARRING: 1895: Raquel Revuelta (Lucía); Eduardo Moure (Rafael); Idalia Anreus (Fernandina); 1932: Eslinda Nuñez (Lucía); Ramón Brito (Aldo); Flora Lautén (Flora); 196..: Adela Legrá (Lucía); Adolfo Llauradó (Tomás); Teté Vergara (Angelina)



COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 160 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC)

PRODUCER: Raúl Canosa, Camilo Vives

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). Restoration funded by Turner Classic Movies and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

One of the abilities of cinema is to portray what a country is going through… it is about putting the country’s face on the screen, but it’s also about enlarging one’s vision of that specific place.
-- Walter Salles

ICAIC was born out of the victory of the Revolution. Those of us who were about to attempt to found a national film industry from scratch faced a set of problems that we had to resolve immediately. Our problem was a basic cultural dichotomy, as in Lenin’s thesis on national cultures. We had an elitist cultural tradition that represented the interests of the dominant class, and a more clandestine culture that had already received wide exposure; however, at some point, all artistic expression started to be converted into products of a consumer-oriented culture.

Because the elitist and the popular were so intimately tied, because petit bourgeois consciousness and influences from Europe and North America were so dominant, our general cultural panorama at the time of the Revolution was in fact a pretty desolate one. This was during the sixties, when the most important film movement was the French New Wave. Films like Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour (1959) or Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960) marked most of the subsequent decade. These influences alienated us from our indigenous cultural forms and from a more serious search for a kind of cultural expression consistent with national life and with the explosive dynamism of the Revolution. Yet this was a path we clearly had to travel. Anyone who picks up the tools of artistic activity for the first time is going to be vulnerable to outside influences.

With Lucía, I wanted to view our history in phases, to show how apparent frustrations and setbacks –such as the decade of the ’30s–led us to a higher stage of national life. Whenever you make a historical film, whether it’s set two decades or two centuries ago, you are referring to the present.

Lucía is not a film about women, it’s a film about society. But within society, I chose the most vulnerable character, the one who is more transcendentally affected at any given moment by contradictions and change.
-- Humberto Solás


The restoration of Lucía was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negative and a third generation dupe negative provided by and preserved at the ICAIC.

The state of conservation of the negative was critical, due to advanced vinegar syndrome causing portions of the film stock to colliquate (melt) or stick together; the negative also appeared heavily warped and buckled, causing the image to lose focus throughout the film. Despite undergoing several weeks of drying and softening treatments, large portions of 8 (out of 18) reels could not be used. These sections were replaced with a second generation duplicate preserved by the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv since
the film had been distributed in East Germany in the late 1960s.

All the elements were wet-scanned at a 4K resolution to eliminate or reduce heavy scratches and halos. Additional documentation was used to confirm that the film had been shot on two different film stocks–Orwo and Ilford–and graded according to the time-period depicted in the film. A previously unscreened vintage print preserved at the BFI National Archive was used as a reference.

The original soundtrack was in fairly good condition, with the exception of uneven and inconsistent background noise detected in
the mix which required careful dynamic noise reduction.




Director: Kim Ki-Young

WRITTEN BY: Kim Ki-Young

EDITING: Kim Ki-Young


PRODUCER: Kim Young-chul


ART DIRECTOR: Park Seok-in

STARRING: Lee Eunshim (Housemaid), Kim Jin-kyu (Dong-sik), Ju Jeung-nyeo (Dong-sik’s wife), Um Aeng-ran (Cho Kyung-hee)


LANGUAGE: Korean with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Korean Munye Films Co., Ltd.

PRODUCER: Kim Young-chul

Restored in 2008 by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA), in association with The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project and HFR-Digital Film laboratory. Additional restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

Kim Ki-young’s Hanyo, or The Housemaid, is one of the true classics of South Korean cinema, and when I finally had the opportunity to see the picture, I was startled. That this intensely, even passionately claustrophobic film is known only to the most devoted film lovers in the west is one of the great accidents of film history. I’m proud that the World Cinema Foundation is participating in the restoration and preservation of this remarkable picture. I am eager for more people to get to know and love The Housemaid.
–Martin Scorsese, February 2008


Hanyo has been restored digitally by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) with the support of the World Cinema Foundation. The original negative of the film was found in 1982 with two missing reels, 5 and 8. In 1990 an original release print with hand-written English subtitles was found and used to complete the copy. This surviving print was highly damaged, and the English subtitles occupied almost half of the frame area. The long and complex restoration process has involved the use of a special subtitle-removal software and included flicker and grain reduction, scratch and dust removal, color grading.

Image: © Courtesy of Korean Film Archive

SRI LANKA | 1973



Director: Lester James Peries

WRITTEN BY: Tissa Abeysekera

EDITING: Lester James Peries, Edwin Leetin, Gladwyn Fernando


ADAPTED BY: G. B. Senanayake

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Premasiri Khemadasa

ART DIRECTOR: J.A. Vincent Perera

STARRING: Gamini Fonseka, Malani Fonseka, Saman Bokalawala, Francis Perera, Mapa Gunaratne, Shanthi Lekha, Trilicia Gunawardene, Thilakasiri Fernando, J.B.L. Fernando, Thalatha Gunasekera, Kumarasinghe Appuhamy, K.L. Coranelis Appuhamy, Barry Whittington, Wijeratne Warakagoda



COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: P.E.E. Anthonypillai for Ceylon Studios

Restored in 2013 by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Lester James and Sumitra Peries, the National Film Archive of India, the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, Cinemas Ltd. Additional restoration elements provided by Degeto Films. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

Nidhanaya is based on a dark tale by G.B. Senanayake and is considered a milestone film that people, even abroad, admire the most, albeit it is atypical of Lester James Peries’ customary family dramas. The story revolves around a psychotic killer yet is an underlying serious political study on the degradation of a class of society. In 1972 this film won the Silver Lion of St Mark at the 33th Venice International Film Festival and was selected as one of the outstanding films of the year, receiving a Diploma at the London Film Festival. It was also voted as the best film of the first 50 years of Sri Lankan cinema.

My most controversial film is Nidhanaya, which received a very positive reception at the Venice Film Festival. The most accurate critics highlighted that, despite its setting in 1911, this film holds a strong social and political value in denouncing the system. The character is trapped between two cultures: the Western/British one and his culture of origin—he is lost between two worlds. Unable to adapt to either one or the other, he absorbs the worse elements of the two cultures; the society changes and he goes insane.

- Lester James Peries


The restoration of Nidhanaya was made possible through the use of two key elements: a 35mm positive print struck from the original camera negative and held by Degeto Film, and a combined dupe negative preserved at the National Film Archive of India.

The prints were scanned at 4K resolution. After scanning, the image was stabilized and cleaned, and all wear marks were eliminated. Image grading recovered the richness of the original cinematography.  The soundtrack was also digitally cleaned and background noise reduction was applied to reduce imperfections without losing the dynamic features of the original.  The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.

The World Cinema Foundation would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support: G R Padmaraj and Cinemas Ltd, National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, National Film Archive of India, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Ravindra and Sam Randeniya, and Hubert Niogret.

Special thanks to Lester James Peries and Sumitra Peries for facilitating the restoration process.

Image: © Courtesy of National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka



Director: Lino Brocka

WRITTEN BY: Mario O’Hara and Lamberto Antonio

EDITING: Augusto Salvado


PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon Severino


SOUND: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes

STARRING: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez, Marlon Ramirez


LANGUAGE: Tagalog with French and English subtitles


RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon Severino

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

I’m so pleased that Insiang, the second of the great Lino Brocka’s films that we’ve managed to restore, has been selected for this year’s Cannes Classics: back in 1976, this extraordinary family melodrama was the first picture from the Philippines ever selected for Cannes. Brocka was like a force of nature in world cinema, and Insiang was among his greatest achievements.  - Martin Scorsese, May 2015

Insiang is, first and foremost a character analysis: a young woman raised in a miserable neighborhood. I need this character to recreate the ‘violence’ stemming from urban overpopulation, to show the annihilation of a human being, the loss of human dignity caused by the physical and social environment and to stress the need for changes to these life conditions […] My characters always react through fighting. I have conceived Insiang like an immoral story: two women share the same man, the daughter avenges herself and, in the end, she reveals herself: she had conspired to kill her mother’s lover without having ever loved him, so that the murder was, in fact, unnecessary. Censorship refused this ending.”   - Lino Brocka

In 1977 I was in Sydney for the film festival. Before going home, I zigzagged my way back through Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong-Kong, Manila and Seoul, to discover a new filmmaker and an unknown film: Insiang by Lino Brocka. When Insiang was released on December 17, 1976, it did not do well, and led to the collapse of CineManila, the company founded by Brocka in 1974 after the extraordinary success of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. The shooting of Insiang began on December 1 and lasted 11 days. Knowing these dates is important as they reveal the extreme urgency he felt, and his unique, authentic desire to make this film. Insiang also presents an unusual, brilliant mise-en-scène which shows the characters being torn apart by passion, by a sort of ardent energy. I am very pleased that, two years after Manila in the Claws of Light, Cannes Classics is showcasing another restoration of a Brocka film. I still remember the excitement, along rue Antibes, surrounding the screening of Insiang at the Quinzaine de Réalisateurs, in 1978. That was a very fulfilling and emotional experience, and I’m sure the same will be true today.  -  Pierre Rissient


The restoration of Insiang was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited at LTC laboratories by producer Ruby Tiong Tan. 

The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution and digital restoration was very time-consuming. Some portions of the film, where the negative was intercut to the internegative were extremely damaged and two shots were replaced by use of a 35mm positive print preserved at the BFI National Archive.

Despite an overall acceptable state of preservation, the original optical sound negative presented critical recording issues. The sound restoration required considerable effort to try and solve or minimize the severe metallic hiss and distortions. Several acquisition methods were tested, leaving, however, very little room for improvement.


Manila in the Claws of Light


Director: Lino Brocka

EDITING: Edgardo Jarlego, Ike Jarlego


ADAPTED BY: Edgardo Reyes

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon, Severino Manotok


SOUND: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes

ART DIRECTOR: Miguel De Leon

STARRING: Bembel Roco, Hilda Koronel, Rafael Roco Jr., Lou Salbador Jr., Tommy Abuel, Jojo Abella, Juling Badabaldo


LANGUAGE: Tagalog with French and English subtitles



PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon, Severino Manotok

Restored in 2013 by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project , LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines and Mike De Leon. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

There are undoubtedly a few people left who still remember that day in Cannes 1978 when rumors started circulating about a small, low budget film from the Philippines. A ‘dirty’ film, as some claimed, once more proving Lu Xun correct when he observed that while some art might originate in the sewer, it can be so full of passion that it goes as deep as tragedy.

And perhaps even further, because Lino was one of the most physical filmmakers that cinema has ever had. A true fireball, he moved insatiably from one set to rehearsals of Larawan in Fort Santiago where he directed a very dedicated group of actors, then on to a TV set where he would shoot a TV show in addition to a film as good as A Streetcar Named Desire.

He possessed a remarkable vitality that was expressed fully in the large demonstrations he organized against Marcos’ regime. With the money he made with his commercial films he bought some sophisticated sound equipment that allowed him to cover the entire Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Manila’s massive north to south transportation corridor. Lino knew all the arteries of this swarming city, and he penetrated them just as he penetrated the veins of the outcasts in his films. Sometimes a vein would crack open and bleed. And that blood oozed on the screen with Insiang, Jaguar, Bona, Bayanko, all of which were shown in Cannes. And then, just like that, he died, in a stupid, easily avoidable car accident.

I remember a dinner, five weeks after Marcos’ fall, when Lino had realized that the Aquino regime would lead nowhere. He was no longer the same, nor were his films. He even lost his ability to joyfully seize the moment, which he was able to spread around among his friends.

Still, when you watch Manila, you’ll be burned by a flame that never goes out.

-Pierre Rissient, May 2013


A film director can survive in a museum, on a field or in the jungle – first, second or third world. In the third-world jungle he will be judged by his ability to survive, by the way he insists on making committed films and on believing in the power of cinema, even if no one ever asked him to do so. The rest stands on its own two feet. The aesthetics is a consequence.

A third-world filmmaker necessarily has to reinvent his own brand new cinema, squeezed by the rule of immediate profit (tougher in cinema than anywhere else), and the risk of a brutal clash with power. These are the directors who affect us deeply. Satyajit Ray in the 50’s, Ousmane Sembène in the 60’s, Lino Brocka at the end of the 60’s, and again Lino Brocka at the end of the ‘70s and today. [...]

Ultra-fast, fiercely vital, unclassifiable, this little man exists right in the heart of his country. He knows and experiences all the contradictions of Filipino culture and cinema. Brocka is not a solitary hero, he is a public figure; though marginal, exposed, and slandered, he is protected by his fame abroad. He has some key traits in common with Pasolini: a respect for “lower” culture, a feeling for the beauty of the body, a willingness to dissect the social links that the bodies represent.

Brocka loves flinging his characters into the traps of mise en scène, he never turns away when they are overwhelmed by emotion, and once they are cornered, neither can we.

-Serge Daney, 1981


The restoration of Maynila: sa mga kuko ng liwanag was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited by Pierre Rissient, on behalf of Lino Brocka, at the BFI National Archive in the early 1980s. The state of conservation of the negatives was critical.

The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution. The digital restoration process required considerable effort due to the great number of issues affecting the negative: tears, scratches, warping, visible marks and halos.

Color decay was also a significant problem. The film’s cinematographer, Mike De Leon, attentively guided the grading phase and validated a positive print for reference.

Image: © Courtesy of Film Development Council of the Philippines

TURKEY | 1966



Director: Lüfti Ö. Akad

WRITTEN BY: Lüfti Akad, Yilmaz G Üney



PRODUCER: Dadaş Film, shot in Yildiz Film Studios


FROM: Dadaş Film

STARRING: Yilmaz Güney (Hidir), Pervin Par (Ayse, the teacher), Hikmet Olgun (Yusuf), Erol Taş (Ali Cello), Tuncel Kurtiz (Bekir), Osman Alyanak (Dervis Aga), Aydemir Akbas (Abuzer), Atilla Erg ün (Zeki, first lieutenant)


LANGUAGE: Turkish with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 74 minutes

PRODUCER: Dadaş Film, shot in Yildiz Film Studios

Restored in 2013 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Dadaş Films, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

Turkish cinema in sixties took place in a dream world. The movies of that era refused to look directly at Turkish society. Hudutların Kanunu, on which Yılmaz Güney met director Lütfi Ömer Akad, is one of the movies that changed this state of affairs. Akad’s genuine creative vision influenced Güney’s style as an actor: one can easily see the difference in Güney’s acting before and after Hudutların Kanunu. Akad’s influence was a positive one. . .

Güney’s natural performance marked a change in Turkish Cinema. This was the beginning of what would later be called “New Cinema” in Turkey. With its powerful cinematography and its direct and realistic depiction of social problems, Hudutların Kanunu is one of the early milestones of Turkish cinema. Given the manner of storytelling and the style of photography, one might almost say that Akad’s film is a Western.

Hudutların Kanunu depicts vital problems in the society of South East Turkey. Lack of education, no agriculture, and unemployment compelled people to live by the “law of the border” (Hudutların Kanunu) – in other words, smuggling. Hudutların Kanunu underlines the importance of education, which is the crucial element of socio-economical progress in third world countries. It also helps us to understand the reasons behind the ongoing, veiled war along Turkey’s South East border. Forty five years ago, Lütfi Ömer Akad was alerting Turkish society of the likely consequences if preventive measures are not taken in time. He alerted us with a great and lasting film, Hudutların Kanunu.
(Fatih Akin, May 2011)

Ömer Lüfti Akad’s Hudutların Kanunu comes as a revelation to first-time viewers – a work of great visual and dramatic force, of terrific purity and ferocity. It was made during the year that its star and co-screenwriter, Yilmaz Güney, made his own directing debut. And it’s not surprising for first time viewers to learn that this stunning collaboration marked a shift in Turkish cinema, and ushered in what became known as “the director generation.” Once again, the World Cinema Foundation’s advisory board member Fatih Akin has brought us a great and inspirational film.
(Kent Jones, May 2011)


The restoration of Hudutlarin Kanunu was made possible through the use a positive print provided by Nil Gurpinar, daughter of the film’s producer, and held by the Turkish Ministry of Culture.

As this print is the only known copy to survive the Turkish Coup d’Etat in 1980 – all other film sources were seized and destroyed – the restoration required a considerable amount of both physical and digital repair. The surviving print was extremely dirty, scratched, filled with mid-frame splices and sadly missing several frames. Although the film was shot in black and white, it was also printed on color stock resulting in significant decay. The restoration work produced a new 35mm dupe negative.

The World Cinema Foundation would like to specially thank Fatih Akin for recommending this title, and Ali Akdeniz and Nurhan Sekerci for facilitating the restoration process.

Image: © Courtesy of Nil Gurpinar - Dadaş Films

BRAZIL | 1931


Director: Mário Peixoto

WRITTEN BY: Mário Peixoto

EDITING: Mário Peixoto


PRODUCER: Mário Peixoto

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Brutus Pedreira (themes from Satie, Debussy, Borodin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev)


FROM: Cinemateca Brasileira, São Paulo

STARRING: Olga Breno (Woman #1); Taciana Rei (Woman #2); Carmen Santos (The Whore); Mario Peixoto (The Man at the cemetery); Brutus Pedreira (Man #2 and the pianist); Edgar Brazil (The Man asleep at the cinema); Faciana Rei; Raul Schnoor



COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes


PRODUCER: Mário Peixoto

Restored in 2010 by the Cinemateca Brasileira and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Arquivo Mario Peixoto, Saulo Pereira de Mello, and Walter Salles.  Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

Limite does not intend to analyse. It shows. It projects itself as a tuning fork, a pitch, a resonance of time itself. –Mário Peixoto

Then came the revelation of Limite, the first and only film by 21-year-old director Mário Peixoto. This was a film of transcendent poetry and boundless imagination. Once again, I found myself in a state of shock, not only because of the film itself, which was made in 1931 and forgotten for many years, but also for the evidence it bore, that of our creative diversity. –Walter Salles


Restored by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in collaboration with the Cinemateca Brasileira and Walter Salles.

Image: © Courtesy of Mário Peixoto Archive/ Cinemateca Brasileira




Director: Med Hondo


EDITING: Michèle Masnier, Clément Menuet

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: François Catonné, Jean-Claude Rahaga

STARRING: Robert Liensol, Théo Légitimus, Gabriel Glissand, Mabousso Lô, Alfred Anou, Les Black Echos, Ambroise M’Bia, Akonio Dolo


LANGUAGE: French and Arabic

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Grey Films, Shango Films


This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO--in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna--to help locate, restore and disseminate 50 African films with historic, artistic and cultural significance. 

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Med Hondo. Restoration funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.


I identify with Med Hondo in terms of anger and I share his obsession with history and self-reliance.
--Haile Gerima

When I wrote my script I did not have an audience in mind, I was living in France and experiencing what being a minority felt like. I had to yell and free myself. Writing the script of Soleil Ô was an authentic act of rage and liberation.

Once the script was ready, I gathered a crew of technicians and a team of African actors. Then I went to see some film processing companies and told them “Here I am, I don’t have a penny in my pocket but I want to make a film, let me have some raw film, I will reimburse you on an installment plan, and if I fail to do so you can put me in jail.” They agreed. The film cost $ 30,000 and it took almost two years to shoot because my actors were not always available.

There are different perceptions of an image. Soleil Ô is crystal clear and is neither intellectual nor sophisticated. It has often happened that those who understood it best were illiterate. When it was shown in Algeria, because the audience was completely able to identify with the film, the proletarians explained it to the intellectuals.

My main character could be a garbage collector, a student, or a teacher. His status does not prevent him from being affected in the same manner by the general conditions of history within a racist society. To be a Black expatriate is an identity. Soleil Ô derives from the African oral tradition. It depicts a unique reality. There is no dichotomy between style and content; here it is the content which imposes a style. I wanted to describe several people through one person instead of using a group of people. In my country, when people talk about a specific issue, they may digress and come back to their initial topic. Black cultures have a syntax which has nothing to do with Cartesian logic or that of other civilizations.
-- Med Hondo


The restoration of Soleil Ô was made possible through the use of a 16mm reversal print, and 16mm and 35mm dupe negatives deposited by Med Hondo at Ciné-Archives, the audiovisual archive of the French Communist Party, in Paris.

The reversal print was scanned at 4K and digital restoration eliminated dirt, scratches and mold. Despite excellent photographic quality overall, a few sequences appear slightly out-of-focus; this is true to the original cinematography.

A vintage 35mm print preserved at the Harvard Film Archive was used as a reference. Color grading was supervised by cinematographer François Catonné.

The original 16mm magnetic tracks were used for the audio restoration. After digitization, the soundtrack was cleaned and background noise reduction eliminated all noticeable wear marks; particular attention was devoted to the specific dynamics and features of the original soundtrack, namely percussion and chants. Reel 4 as well as the main and end titles were missing, so these were restored using the original 35mm soundtrack. The latter was also used to replace the 16mm mag tracks in the parts where the mix differed slightly from the vintage 35mm print.

TURKEY | 1964



Director: Metin Erksan

WRITTEN BY: Necati Cumali, Metin Erksan Kemal Ínci, Ísmet Soydan

EDITING: Turgut Ínangiray


PRODUCER: Ulvi Dogan


SOUND: Turgut Ínangiray

STARRING: Ulvi Dogan (Hassan), Erol Tas (Osman), Hülya Koçyigit (Bahar)


LANGUAGE: Turkish with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes

PRODUCER: Ulvi Dogan

Restored in 2008 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Ulvi Dogan, and Fatih Akim. Additional elements provided by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority.

Dry Summer is a film of passion. A passion for water as well as the obsessive passion created by forbidden love. […] Dry Summer is a film of captivity… Authorities at the time objected to Dry Summer representing Turkey overseas, which presented all kinds of obstacles when the film came to the Berlin Film Festival. The film walked away with the Golden Bear, but before success could even be celebrated it was ‘taken captive’ and completely forgotten for the next 45 years. Today, in these times of intellectually dry summers, when greed is driving humanity to the brink of starvation, this film could hardly be more valid. Dry Summer is one of the most important legacies of Turkish cinema, and thanks to restoration it can be re-discovered by the next generations of audiences all over the world. –Fatih Akin, May 2008


The restoration of Susuz Yaz used the original 35mm camera negative and the original 17.5 mm sound negative and recaptured the black and white film’s tonal nuances. The film’s producer, Ulvi Dogan, provided the prints. An interpositive preserved at the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung in Wiesbaden was used for the negative’s last missing reel. The opening and closing credits, missing from all available sources, have been digitally reconstructed.

Image: © Courtesy of Ulvi Doğan

SENEGAL | 1966



Director: Ousmane Sembène

WRITTEN BY: Ousmane Sembène

EDITING: André Gaudier



STARRING: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine, Momar Nar Sene, Ibrahima Boy


LANGUAGE: French with English Subtitles


RUNNING TIME: 65 minutes


Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the Sembène Estate, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA, Eclair laboratories and the Centre National de Cinématographie. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. 

Black Girl, or La Noire de…, was the first of Ousmane Sembène’s pictures to make a real impact in the west, and I can clearly remember the effect it had when it opened in New York in 1969, three years after it came out in Senegal. An astonishing movie—so ferocious, so haunting, and so unlike anything we’d ever seen. 
- Martin Scorsese, May 2015

I am not for “social realism” nor for a “cinema of signs” with slogans and demonstrations. For me revolutionary cinema is something else. If we managed to set up a group of cinéastes who all make cinema directed in the same direction, I believe that then we could influence a little bit of the destinies of our country. I think that the film, more than the book, can crystallize an awakening within the masses. I am personally inspired much by the example of Brecht.
- Ousmane Sembène

In 1961, shortly after Senegal declared its independence from France, Ousmane Sembène, a self-educated dockworker, assigned himself an impossible task: to create a true African cinema as a “night school” for his people. is explosive debut—a film described as the first African feature (true in spirit, if not in fact)—inspired a form of fearless, socially engaged, and uncompromising cinema across the globe. La Noire de … (Black Girl) follows a young girl lured to France by a white bourgeoisie couple, who keep her locked in their flat as a housekeeper. As the daily and unrelenting indignities unfold, Diouana, the title character, literally loses her voice. Sembène highlights her silence, familiar to the voiceless across the globe, yet reveals Diouana’s immense dignity and, by the end, agency. He draws visually from the French Nouvelle Vague (in a film about racial and class divides, the black-and-white photography carries new power) and spiritually from the Italian neorealists, but the film’s heart and soul is African. By turning around the camera—used for 100 years to demean Black people—Sembène offers us the first humanistic gaze at Africans.

But the film (shot mostly in Dakar) also remains a seminal work of cinematic art, as it unfolds with startling precision and decisiveness, providing revealing, unforgettable and richly metaphoric perspective on a never-beforeseen Africa. La Noire de … became a sensation at festivals from Carthage to Pyongyang, and Sembène became the first non-French recipient of the Prix Jean Vigo, given previously to Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard. In the film’s culminating moment, a boy grabs a mask and haunts the white businessman who entrapped Diouana. As this child pulls the mask from his face, we wonder: Will a new Africa emerge? Nearly 50 years after its initial screenings, the visionary La Noire de … remains a gorgeous, shocking and of-the-moment African story.
- Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman


The restoration of La Noire de… was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negative provided by INA and the Sembène Estate and preserved at the CNC – Archives Françaises du Film.

In order to try and minimize the presence of visible spots (due to processing errors and aggravated by time) and scratches on the image, the camera negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution. Due mainly to these two issues, the digital restoration required considerable efforts. A vintage print preserved at the Cinémathèque Française was used as reference.

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