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After fighting a four-year war against colonial France, Ahidjéré Béhanzin, King of Dahomey, is exiled to Martinique in 1894. Along with his "minder" and a Creole woman with whom he falls in love, the king, who was worshipped as a god in his homeland, discovers Blacks who are no longer African. Defeated, exiled, faced with an "anthropological oddity" and with love, Behanzin has a hunch that what he sees here in the Americas is a foreshadowing of the amazing yet inevitable melding of the diversity of mankind, on an Earth which will one day be restored to oneness by discoveries, worldwide communications, travel and immigration.
"The exile of King Behanzin : the caprices of the inhabitants of a French island. Go figure why this page of Carribean history has been forgotten, torn up, or will fully glossed over. The French decided to send King Behanzin from Dahomey, West Africa, to exile in Martinique, supposedly "to let him keep his roots". But picture his surprise when he arrives to find black people with "no identity of their own !" It's lucky we have Guy Deslauriers and Patrick Chamoiseau to repair the omission and reveal, through this film packed with emotions and questions, the complexity of the Carribbean world, the shock of its meeting with Africa and recognizing its own identity. This film is a hymn to opacity (accepting others with all their complexities and grey areas), difference and tolerance. Doesn't it remind you of the riverside "Caprices" of a certain French director ?
(France Zobda - actress)