A quietly raging, meditative work, Med Hondo's Oh, Sun is a powerful deconstruction of the far-reaching effects of European colonialism and imperialism on the African people. Impressionistic, personal, and expansive, Oh, Sun tells the story of a native of Mauritania, who is delighted to learn that he has been chosen to work in Paris by his superiors. Energized about the potential to learn in France, and parlay his experiences into a better life for himself, he is soon met with extreme prejudice and utter racism; as he quickly discovers that his educated background is not all that is required for success in this foreign land. Effective in its ability to capture the hypocrisy and double-standards of Western Civilization and liberalism when it comes to African colonization and black bodies, Oh, Sun showcases how the paramount tenants of liberalism, freedom and meritocracy, aren't exactly shared among those they wish to extort for capitalistic gains, with Africans not given nearly the same treatment as their white European counterparts. While the film is draped far too much in Marxist's simplistic dogma, specifically placating how all of this struggle can attributed to class, Oh Sun's assertions related to capitalism are astute, relevant, and justified, as the film angrily showcases the hypocrisy of Europe. A region which raised industrial and economic capital through its use of migrant workers in Africa, Oh Sun exhibits how Europe itself reaped most of the rewards with the predominately white country showing little interest in providing the same meritocracy to those who look, and have a culture and way-of-life that is different than their own. This oppressive economic policy is fueled not by live-and-let live; or meritocracy; but by indoctrination, with Europeans forcing their culture on others, so convinced of their cultural superiority that is reinforced by racism, one in which they serve their bourgeoisie sensibilities through the hard work of African migrants. The "black invasion" feared by the white European working class is eerily similar to present day fears of migrants; as it's eerily familiar in terms of the language used by those who wish to protect their native interests instead of encouraging the market itself to work independently, free of coercive government policy or capitalistic hierarchy. When our main protagonist first arrives in France one of the first people he interacts with is a young, white french girl. This scene may seem superfluous in the grand scope of this film's dense socio-political commentary, but it's a paramount sequence, one in which unadulterated kindness is captured. This child, this individual who has yet to be corrupted by societal collectivist bias, extends extreme kindness to our main protagonist, treating him like just another human being, one which has no ethnic identity, but only shares a natural sense of empathy and humanism towards her fellow man. An extremely important which is an impressionistic nightmare in which a filmmaker expresses his frustrations and turmoil through the cinematic arfform, Med Hondo's Oh, Sun is a startling achievement; and one which should be seen by all individuals who truly say they want to live in a free society.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.