• Démokratia
Genre : Political
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2001
Format : Short
Running time : 17 (in minutes)

A lady wearing a scarf is walking sedately towards a planted rifle at the beach. The woman seems to be ignoring the weapon by staring at the far horizon. Her name is Demokratia (Democracy). Facing the execution squad, a leader of a totalitarian country is awaiting for death. While the soldiers were raising their rifles to their shoulders, the man recalls, "His absence of scruples and humanity, the cowardice of his surrounding and his relations with Demokratia. Between memories and imaginations, the man remains the master beyond his death, facing the officials of the gruesome ceremony. In a few moments, the bullets will cross his chest, yet he is smiling? Strange itinerary of a dictator who is on the road to termination for being confronted with a terrible human dilemma: the fatigue of the power and his replacement by the army of a new leader. What will this new powerful leader of Democratia do? A fairy tale on the machinery of the dictatorship, of democracy and absolute power. A kind of anthem for the sacrifices required by freedom. We all carry our jails, our crimes and our devastations But our duty is not to spread them throughout the world It is to fight them within ourselves and within others. Albert Camus. Intentions Double-dealings, skills, lies and violence: Dictatorship establishes on strong bases. Our character is at the same time here and absent, as a stranger to his own end, dictator in his territory, which becomes a labyrinth. May be he was harping on his incredible ending: years of absolute power, cruelty, corruption and seduction to mold a docile country for the satisfaction of his fantasies. How many people around the world have suffered the fury of violence, during many years of dictatorship, which led to the ritual of blood baths. Confined in the blind luxury of their palaces during their glorious years, the dictators have lost the perception of their countries and their people, everyday further away. Their collapse is matched to their violent attitude: the fatigue of the power, the only thing they did not think of buying. The end of this century would have been distinct by the collapse of dictatorships. The list is long: Suharto, Ferdinand Marcus, Mobutu See Seko, Anastasio Sumosa, … The list of these tyrants who had power for a long time, glory, power of money but also a brutal collapse. The dictators who died of old age while still holding firmly to the power, such as Franco in Spain or Kim Il-Sung in North Korea are not that many. During the last quarter of this century, dictators have been driven away either by the people (Marcos in the Philippines, Nicolae Caeusecu in Romania, the Chah of Iran) or by the army (Somoza, Caetano in Portugal, Mobutu) or by exteriors interventions (Bokassa in Center Africa, Idi Amin Dada in Uganda, Noriega in Panama, Pol Pot in Cambodge). The collapse of the Berlin wall, the death of most of the communist regimes and the end of the cold war have accelerated this movement; the stakes became local and not necessarily perceived as manipulated by others. Progressively, entire sections of the world have gotten rid of theirs dictators. If we can enjoy their collapse, these political dinosaurs reigned too long with the support of, in general, a powerful godfather, their disappearance is not a sign of a big democratic progress. Either an obscurantist replaces a dictator (Kaboul, Teheran,…) or a real tyrant replaces another (Congo-Zaire) or it is the confusion that takes place on the wreckage of a tyranny (Somalia). In DEMOKRATIA, there is no real enemies, no frontal opposition but a story that ends in a loop, and turns around itself without being able to stop. And this evokes an arena, a circus, to a prank; it is tragic and ridiculous. DEMOKRATIA is a story of circulation, of injection and of a graft between cinema and representation of power. The first movement of the film is where the representation (the death of a dictator) is stroke by memory, these are the conditions of where the film takes place: the identity. The second movement is the opposite figure of the first: we have to bring in life or liberty (or what's left of) into representation. This movie shows that the collapse of a dictator is necessary but not sufficient to achieve democracy, which remains the privilege of a minority of the planet's inhabitants.


1 files


1 files


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of