Thiaroye 44: Investigating a colonial-era massacre in Senegal

Thiaroye 44: Investigating a colonial-era massacre in Senegal


Issued on: 13/05/2022 – 12:51Modified: 13/05/2022 – 12:56

Thousands of West African soldiers fought for France against the Nazis in World War II. But on December 1, 1944, scores of them were gunned down in unclear circumstances by the very French forces they fought alongside. What really happened on that fateful day at the Thiaroye military camp near the Senegalese capital Dakar? Eighty years on, the documentary “Thiaroye 44” takes a closer look at this dark page of French history.

First presented as a mutiny, historical research now appears to show the deadly shooting in Senegal was a response to the African troops’ demands of receiving their pay. How many were killed? Who gave the order? Where are the bodies?

In this documentary by Marie Thomas-Penette and François-Xavier Destors, we follow three young artists from Thiaroye: Magui, Babacar and Aïcha. Out of a duty of remembrance, they search for the truth about the massacre with the help of a historian.

A documentary from Les Films du Sillage, co-produced by FRANCE 24 and Public Sénat, with the participation of TV5 Monde.

The directors speak to FRANCE 24


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