Cinema of Benin

The Cinema of Benin refers to the film industry of the Republic of Benin in West Africa.


Sources differ as to the which was the first Beninese film, with some pointing to the short Lumière des hommes (1954, director unknown),[1] with others pointing to the work of Pascal Abikanlou, who made a number of documentaries in the 1960s, followed by his first feature film Sous le signe du vaudou in 1974.[2][3] Richard De Medeiros was another noted director of the early independence years, beginning with 1970's Le roi est mort en exil, an examination of Béhanzin, the last king of Dahomey.[4] He went on to make the feature-length Le nouveau venu (1972), which explored the issue of corruption and the conflict between modernity and tradition in Benin.[5] François Okioh made a number of short documentaries in the 1980s, as well as the feature-length dramas Ironou (1985) and Enfants de... (1985).[6] Noted filmmakers of the last two decades are Jean Odoutan (Barbecue Pejo, 2000; Pim-Pim Tché, 2010), Idrissou Mora Kpai (Si-Gueriki, la reine-mère, 2002) and Sylvestre Amoussou (Africa Paradis, 2006).

List of Beninese films

This is a sortable list of films produced in Benin.[7][1][8][9][10]

Year Title Director Genre Notes
1954Lumière des hommes?ShortEnglish title: Light of Men
1967Ganvié, mon villagePascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Ganvié, My Village
1968Escale au DahomeyPascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Stopover in Dahomey
1969Premières offrandesPascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: First Offerings
1969Fête de l'ignamePascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Yam Festival
1970Le roi est mort en exilRichard de MedeirosDrama, shortEnglish title: The King Died in Exile
1971Opération SonaderPascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Operation Sonader
1971De l'eau et de l'ombragePascal AbikanlouDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Water and Shade
1972Téké, hymne au BorgouRichard de MedeirosDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Téké, Hymn of Borgou
1972Silence et feu de brousseRichard de MedeirosDrama, shortEnglish title: Silence and Bushfire
1974Sous le signe du vaudouPascal AbikanlouDramaEnglish title: Under the Sign of Voodoo
1975L'Afrique au Rendez-vous de l'Année Sainte Pascal AbikanlouDocumentary shortEnglish title: Africa at the Rendezvous of the New Year
1976Le Nouveau venuRichard De MedeirosDramaEnglish title: The Newcomer
1980Ces Collines ne sont pas muettesFrançois OkiohDocumentary, shortEnglish title: These Hills are not Silent
1982Le Fleuve a tout emporté François OkiohDocumentary, shortEnglish title: The River Swept Everything
1983OguFrançois OkiohDocumentary, short
1985Enfants de...François OkiohDramaEnglish title: Infants of...
1985IronouFrançois OkiohDrama
1989Dan xome royaume des Huegbadjavi Pascal AbikanlouDocumentaryEnglish title: Dan Xome, Kingdom of Huegbadjavi
1991Debout les morts?Television productionEnglish title: Up the Dead
1991Les Tresseurs de CordeFrançois OkiohDramaEnglish title: The Mat Cutters
1992Vent de l'espoirPascal AbikanlouDocumentaryEnglish title: Wind of Hope
1993Ouidah 92Pascal AbikanlouDocumentary
1998Divine carcasseDominique LoreauDramaEnglish title: Divine Carcass
1999Génération perdueM. PounieEnglish title: Lost Generation
2000Barbecue-PejoJean OdoutanDrama
2000Le Pays IdaashaFrançois OkiohDramaEnglish title: Dassa Country
2002Si-Gueriki, la reine-mèreIdrissou Mora KpaiDramaEnglish title: Si-Gueriki, the Queen Mother
2004La Valse des gros derrièresJean OdoutanEnglish: The Waltz of the Big Behinds
2006AbeniTunde KelaniDramaBenin-Nigeria co-production
2006Africa ParadisSylvestre AmoussouDrama/comedyEnglish title: Africa Paradise
2006Abeni 2Tunde KelaniDramaBenin-Nigeria co-production
2006Crânes épais... lèvres faussesFrançois OkiohDocumentary, shortEnglish title: Thick Skulls... False Lips
2007L'Amazone candidateSanvi PanouDocumentaryEnglish title: The Amazon Candidate
2010Pim-Pim Tché Jean OdoutanDrama
2010Shed No TearsKaitlyn SummerillDocumentary
2011Un pas en avant - Les dessous de la corruptionSylvestre AmoussouComedyEnglish title: One Step Forward - The Bottom of Corruption
2011Indochine, sur les traces d'une mèreIdrissou Mora KpaiDocumentaryEnglish title: Indochina: Traces of a Mother
2011Femme d'AfriqueMilja ViitaDocumentary shortEnglish title: Woman of Africa
2011Larmes de sangLaitan Faranpojo & Mark KoumagnonEnglish title: Tears of Blood
2012La personne de Georges AdéagboMatteo FritelliDocumentaryEnglish title: The Person of Georges Adéagbo
2012Possessed by VoodooSergey YastrzhembskiyDocumentary
2012The CampJean-Frédéric de HasqueDocumentary
2014DreamcyclesNelson RoubertDocumentary
2015Gangbé!Arnauld RobertDocumentary
2016VindicteAnge-Régis HounkpatinDrama, shortEnglish title: Retribution
2016Bight of the TwinHazel Hill McCarthy IIIDocumentary
2016Dassa-ZoumeChristophe BlanpiedDocumentary, short
2017L'orage africain: un continent sous influenceSylvestre AmoussouDramaEnglish title: The African Storm
2017Studio HarmattanStefanos PavlakisExperimental short
2018In Search of Voodoo: Roots of HeavenDjimon HounsouDocumentary
2018ZanKlanArcade AssogbaDrama, short
2018When God is Among UsAidan MacalusoDocumentary, short

See also


  1. Houngnikpo, Mathurin C.; Decalo, Samuel (2013). Historical Dictionary of Benin (Fourth ed.). Lanham: The Scarecrow Press. pp. 164–65. ISBN 978-0-8108-7171-7.
  2. Blaise Ahouansè (13 January 2013), Hommage à Pascal Abikanlou, le précurseur du cinéma béninois, La Nouvelle Tribune, retrieved 7 December 2019
  3. Pascal Abikanlou, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
  4. Richard de Medeiros, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
  5. Le Nouveau Venu, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
  6. François Okioh, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
  7. IMDb - Benin, 6 December 2019
  8. Various (2000) Les cinémas d'Afrique: Dictionnaire, Editions Karthala, p. 18
  9. Richard de Medeiros, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
  10. François Okioh, Africine, retrieved 7 December 2019
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