Captain of the Darkness

  • Capitaine des ténèbres
Genre : Historical
Type : Fiction
Original title : Colonne Voulet-Chanoine (La) [working title]
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv, History/society
Year of production : 2004
Format : Feature
Running time : 95 (in minutes)

1899, CHANOINE and VOULET, two young captains at the head of a handful of whites and a few African soldiers, still dream of conquering new territories on the border between Chad and Niger. The extremely plebeian determination of VOULET, who was promoted on the strength of his military successes, exercises a quasi-amorous fascination over the more aristocratic CHANOINE.

But their colonial dream is no longer shared by senior officials in Paris. The wind has turned, and everyone feels more concerned by the Dreyfus affair.

From his fine residence near the river, Colonel Klobb tells the two men who are already exhausted after a long march across the desert, that for what is now a simple police task, they can no longer count on the companies of soldiers they hoped for and had been promised. However, they will be accompanied by Lieutenant PETEAU, fresh from St. Cyr military academy, who VOULET hates from the outset for being born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

The greatly undermanned column sets off, struggling with the heat, thirst, the surprise attacks, fatigue, and betrayals by the Spahis (soldiers of native cavalry corps of the French army in North Africa). The violence with which the local people are treated becomes the norm to survive and to keep on advancing toward the new territories that the captains do not want to abandon.

A wild horde is now on the march...

Directed by Serge Moati

France, 2005, TV film, biopic, Historical

A 52' documentary Blancs de memoire (directed by Manuel Gasquet) is also available, it is devoted to the living memory of colonization and was made at the same time as the film Captain of the Darkness on Senegal and Niger.

Genre: Drama

Manuel Blanc.... Voulet
Patrick Mille.... Chanoine
Clément Sibony.... Péteau
Richard Bohringer.... Colonel Klobb
Micky Sébastian.... Mlle Kolb
François Berland.... Henri
Eric Laugérias.... Bouthel
Airy Routier.... Joaland
Gora Seck.... Boubakar


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