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Film Distribution - One Man's Show

One Man's Show

Shot against the background of Sarkozy's debate on "National Identity",'One Man's Show' is the gripping portrait of Emil, a once successful Cameroonian actor living in France, who at his 50th birthday discovers that he has cancer. Structured in vignettes, the film follows the tortured Emil as he descends into existential crisis, struggling to connect with his son and confronting the failure of his relationships with the three women in his life. Somewhere between Dante's Divine Comedy and Stand-Up Comedy, between Theatre und Performance, the film in a poetic and moving way examines the interior world of a man doubly disconnected. With the phenomenal and hypnotic Emile Abossolo M'bo as the tormented Emil, the film asks in an intelligent and subtle way, what it means to be an artist and what is the price to pay especially if you are a Black artist in Europe struggling to stay faithful to yourself and your convictions.

Production Details

Newton Aduaka, Fiction, Nigeria/France, 2012, 75 min
With: Emil Abossolo Mbo, Aïssa Maïga, Odile Roire, Fatima Adoum, Kwame Pocrain
Production: Granit Films
Produced by: Valérie Osouf
Cinematography by: Mathias Raaflaub

Distribution Details

Distribution: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Format: DCP, DVD
Language: French with English Subtitles
Posters, Press Book & Pictures: can be sent digitally


  • Critique Award - Fespaco 2013
  • Selected at Festival de Mill Valley, USA.
  • Selected at Cinémathèque de Vancouver
  • Selected at AIM film festival in Edinburgh
  • Selected at Africa Eye in Cambridge, Cardiff and Bristol
  • Selected at AITP in Amesterdam.
  • Selected at FCAT in Cordoba
  • Screened in the framework of an Aduaka Restrospective at Rencontres Cinématographiques de Manosque (France)
  • Screened at Jeu de Paume in the framework of ‘Transgresseurs'

Press Reviews

„Based on a very simple scenario of the downfall of a man who believed he could be king, Aduaka presents a touching and subtle film, of which every scene comes back to haunt us once we close our eyes." Olivier Barlet, Africultures

"In Osmosis with his actors, (note the magic presence of Aïssa Maïga), who all take just as many risks as he does in capturing only the essential, Aduaka dedicates this living painting featuring all our fragilities to Frantz Fanon who knew them so well. Based on a simple and reduced scenario of the downfall of a man who believed he could be king, Aduaka presents a touching and subtle film, of which every scene comes back to haunt us once we close our eyes." Olivier Barlet, Africultures

"Largely, the film is a coming-to-terms narrative and its dedication to Fanon, a psychiatrist, intellectual and revolutionary, locates it firmly within a discursive framework, where history, interracial desire, migration, exile, displacement, identity and trauma are crucial anchors." Jude G. Akudinobi, University of California

"The Cameroonian Emile Abossolo Mbo offers us a great cinematographic experience between Dante's divine comedy and Stand-up comedy, betwenn theatre and performance." RFI

"With One Man's Show, Newton Aduaka has created a bold and daring film. By choosing to renew his cinema by incorporating improvisation and music, he proves that cinema has to invoke the other arts if it wants to be more than a technical virtuosity. As Hervé Bazin said, cinema has to stay impure." Alceny Saidou Barry, Lobservateur.bf

"Aduaka has turned to a genre that can almost be described as experimental. It is his way of saying: "I am searching my own path, I am trying to set up a new model of my own to tell stories". With this "experimental" cinema (in the positive sense of the word), he shows that he wants to makle things change, like Djibril Diop Mambéty and the likes before him (…)" Baba Diop, Président de la Fédération Africaine de la Critique Cinématographique (FACC)

"When a filmmaker, after having so successfully worked within other genres and produced major films, returns to such a intimate approach, it means that he is questioning at the same time himself and his relation to cinema. One Man's Show is indeed a transitory work, a wonderfully sincere meditation. Newton Aduaka foundhis alter ego in Émile Abossolo Mbo, the incarnation of his own anxieties in relation to his creative work and his relation to the world as a whole... and to women." Olivier Barlet, Africultures

"With Emil as a character and subject, the film (…) involves introspection, quests for reconciliation and redemption, and a difficult subject, mortality. Like Dante's masterpiece, it explores humanity and the poetic imagination. Hence, Aduaka formulates eclectic aesthetic and narrative registers, suffused with symbols, themes, inter-textual references, self-reflexive moments, and philosophical musings." Jude G. Akudinobi, University of California

Director's Comment

„It is the first film since I left film school that I shot, produced and edited completely on my own, it has been 20 years! I felt disillusioned with cinema, and this film brought me back to cinema. I wanted to make a film which really takes account of the seriousness of the situation: life goes too quickly. (…) The film tells a story that I wanted to tell already ten years ago: A successful Black actor is confronted with his limitations imposed by a European context. I don't speak about politics; I totally concentrate on the struggle of this man. I show the price one has to pay to be an artist."

Director: Newton Aduaka

Newton Aduaka was born in Eastern Nigeria in 1966. At the age of four his family sought refuge in Lagos after the Nigerian Civil War, or the Biafran War. He moved to the UK in the mid 80s to study Engineering, but discovered cinema, graduating from the London Film School in 1990. In 2001 he directed his debut feature film Rage. His second feature film Ezra won the Etalon d'or de Yennenga, the highest honour for an African Film Maker at the festival of pan-African cinema, FESPACO in 2007.One Man's Show is his third feature film. Newton Aduaka currently lives in Paris.

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