Addi Bâ Mamadou (December 25, 1916 to December 18 1943) was part of the French Resistance during World War II, who became known to the Germans as “the Black Terrorist” (Der schwarze Terrorist) because of his active role in the Resistance division operating in the Vosges in eastern France.
Born in Guinea, Addi Bâ arrived in France in 1938 with the family of a colonial tax collector. He enlisted in the French army in 1939 as part of the 12th regiment of Senegalese Tirailleurs – a corps of colonial infantry in the French Army who were initially recruited from Senegal, in West Africa. During the war, Bâ was captured by the Germans, taken prisoner, in November 1943, was tortured for information but wouldn’t comply with their demands, and eventually shot dead a month later.
Sixty years later, on July 13, 2003, Addi Bâ was posthumously awarded the French Resistance Medal. The subject of various literary works that followed (both fiction and non-fiction), Addi Bâ’s name was adopted by streets in Tollaincourt (in northeastern France) and another in Langeais (in central France) in his honor.
A film on Addi Bâ’s life is set to open in France next month, June 14, with Belgian-Congolese actor Marc Zinga starring as the Resistance fighter, and Gabriel Le Bomin directing.
French actress Louane Emera and and Alexandra Lamy co-star in the film, playing the women who helped hide Addi Bâ from the Germans.
Paris-based sales agent Other Angle previously boarded the project, which is currently titled “Nos Patriotes” (“Our Patriots”), repping it at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin earlier this year; although no word on whether it was picked up by distributors in other key markets, including the USA. But, as is often the case with films like this, a film festivals will likely pick it up for life beyond France.
“There aren’t that many films looking at the role Africans played in fighting the Germans and none, as far as I know, about black resistance fighters during the war,” said Other Angle chief Olivier Albou, when they became attached to the film.
Star of “Our Patriot” Marc Zinga most recently starred in the 2016 French dramedy “The African Doctor” (co-starring S&A fave Aissa Maiga), which we highlighted on this blog, and is currently streaming on Netlfix in the USA. His break-out role was starring in director Abd al Malik’s French biographical drama film, “May Allah Bless France!”, released in 2014, and earning Zinga a César Award nomination (French equivalent of the Oscars) for Most Promising Actor, as well as a Lumières Award nomination (French equivalent of the Golden Globes) also for Most Promising Actor.
A first trailer (although in French, without English subtitles unfortunately) has been released for the film’s French release, giving us a first look at what to expect: