In 1969, the legendary pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk, visited French television for what seemed like a simple promotional interview. Alain Gomis begins with that premise and shows us unseen footage of that broadcast, marked by the evident passage of time and the huge resonance of the person in front of us. However, Rewind & Play slowly reveals the obvious discomfort of the musician with the interviewer, showing, through the framing and editing, the multiple nuances of the relationship between the two, shaped by colonialist oppression. This exercise in pure cinema based on archives also creates a portrait that is happily far removed from the norm. (SdB)
Alain Gomis (1972) is a French-Senegalese filmmaker, screenwriter and producer. A leading name in current African cinema, since 2002 he has directed several feature films that, together, offer a perspective on the relationship between France and Africa. Among these, the most notable are Aujourd’hui (2012) and Félicité (2017) which won him the Silver Bear in Berlin.