While Sarah Maldoror (1929 – 2020) is best known as a serious and hard-hitting political filmmaker, her work is often equally joyous. This subversive comedy made later in her career for television is a prime example.
Set in the 1970s, Un dessert pour Constance follows Senegalese émigré street cleaners Bokolo and Mamadou who, after stumbling upon a 19th-century cookbook, decide to enter a cooking competition. The two cleaners-turned-chefs proceed to expose the pretentious pomp of French cuisine – as well as the industry’s racism and classicism.
Whilst it might be lighter in tone than some of her other earlier, explicitly radical filmmaking, Maldoror’s politics can still be found in the film, made more palatable for a mass television audience.
Presented as part of Future City Film Festival which takes place biennially in the autumn but had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic. It will now run through 2022 as a series of special events with the support of BFI awarding funds from National Lottery.