Richard De Medeiros

Richard De Medeiros (born 1940) is a Beninese film director.[1]


Richard De Medeiros was born 1940 in Ouidah, and studied literature in Cotonou and Paris.[1] He later taught literature at the National University of Benin in Cotonou, specializing in surrealism.[2]

De Medeiros made two documentaries and a short feature film before his first feature film.[1] The King died in exile was made while he was teaching at the Institut de Journalisme in Algiers.[2] It looked at Béhanzin, the last king of Dahomey, exiled by the French colonial powers to Martinique.[3] His short film Teke, Hymne au Borgou reappropriated ethnographic codes of filmmaking, blending them with elements of oral tradition and griot narrative style.[4] The Newcomer (1976) was Benin's second feature film. It focussed on the clash between Senou, a corrupt civil servant, and Ahouenou, a newcomer who wants to clean things up. After Senou resorts to witchcraft and Agouenou suffers an accident, Agouenou tries to gain acceptance by undergoing magical initiation..[3]

De Medeiros was an influence on younger Beninese filmmakers like François Sourou Okioh. He created a film club, Association du 7e art, and a cultural review, Perspectives 7.[5] In the early 1980s he was interviewed by Pierre Haffner, participating in the debates among African filmmakers about the extent to which Jean Rouch's cinematic practice escaped its colonial context.[6]

In 1980 he was filmed as a subject for Gérard Courant's Cinématon.[7]


  • Le Roi est mort en exil (The King died in exile). Short documentary, 1970.
  • Teke, hymne au Borgou (Teke, hymn to the Borgou). Short documentary, 1972.
  • Silence et feu de brousse' (Silence and bushfire). Short fiction film, 1972
  • Le nouveau venu (The newcomer). Feature-length fiction film, 1976


  1. ^ a b c Roy Armes (2008). "De Medeiros, Richard". Dictionary of African Filmmakers. Indiana University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-253-35116-2.
  2. ^ a b Angela Martin (1982). African Films, the Context of Production. British Film Institute. p. 50.
  3. ^ a b FESPACO; L'Association des Trois Mondes (2000). "De Medeiros, Richard". Les cinémas d'Afrique: dictionnaire. KARTHALA Editions. p. 146. ISBN 978-2-84586-060-5. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Jonathan Kahana (2016). The Documentary Film Reader: History, Theory, Criticism. Oxford University Press. p. 1341. ISBN 978-0-19-045932-1.
  5. ^ Isac A. YAÏ, Entretien avec François Sourou Okioh, Cinéaste béninois : « L’aventure dans ce beau métier continue avec ses joies et ses peines… », Fraternité, 1 October 2020.
  6. ^ Pierre Haffner, 'Jean Rouch jugé par six cineastes d'Afrique noire', CinémAction, Vol. 17. pp.62–76.
  7. ^ N°86 Richard de Medeiros

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