Dahomey was premiered in Berlin Film Festival on Sunday

The film was made by French-Senegalese film-maker, Mati Diop.

The writer and director of “Dahomey,” Mati Diop, walked the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday for the world premiere of her documentary.

Among the competition entries this year is French-Senegalese director Mati Diop with her documentary “Dahomey,” exploring colonization through the return of stolen artifacts plundered by French colonial troops and returned to Benin in West Africa.

“Dahomey” follows the journey of 26 plundered artifacts taken by French colonial troops in 1892, being sent from Paris to the Republic of Benin and the impact of their return.

Mati Diop told a press conference after the film’s premiere: “These 26 works are good, but it’s not enough. It’s quite clear that there were way too few compared with the 7,000 works held captive in these museums, and I certainly think that it is humiliating.”

Musée du Quai Branly, France’s largest ethnological museum, holds 3,157 other objects from Benin in its collection. More are believed to reside in smaller museums and private collections.

The artefacts already returned, which include a towering wooden throne and lifesize zoomorphic statues, were paraded from Cotonou airport to the presidency in trucks bearing large photographs of the objects.

“We need to think about how this process was staged,” Diop said. “There’s a political agenda certainly, but also there are other ways to respond, with artists, filmmakers, students.”

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