About my work

The three films I directed as an independent filmmaker are rooted in a common concern: the contemporary relations between France and its former colonies on the African continent. This questioning is fed by my history and that of my family on which I very often dwell in a critical way. I don’t make films “about Africa” but about Europe/France and the complex relations of power, mirror identities, that spring from a non-elicited history in the making. Because of this, I no longer film about the African continent, as I am convinced that the Western world should pull back from the production of images which are too often Eurocentric on subjects that should be dealt with and put into film by the primary people concerned.

My latest film, Role Plays, (56 min, 2015, HD video) is a biographical and autobiographical documentary essay on humanitarian aid during neo-colonial times. I draw from my personal experience in Mali – which resulted in my first film N’tamat (43 min, 2005-2008, Video) – with those of Kévin and Bruno who start a career in humanitarian action with an internship in an NGO in Lomé, Togo. Coming back on my family’s colonial and slave-trade past, I question through five chapters, the humanitarian aid system’s psychological and societal organisation as it developed since the independences.

Following N’tamat which, in 17 sequences, dealt with the year I spent in Northern Mali, where, among other things, I taught French to Tuareg children, I made The Ignorant Master – comments (71 min, 2011, HD Video) a free interpretation of Jacques Rancière’s essay. The film is a parable on authority, education and language, a documentary essay on the French schooling system in France and in 3 former French colonies (Benin, Senegal, Congo-Brazzaville) which questions the role of French speaking communities in these countries.

In my films, I place a particular emphasis on sound, the relation between the spoken and written text. I readily break my linear narrative with a loose structure that gives space for open interpretation in a restrained syncopated rhythm which leaves time and silence for the text.

For me, preparatory work, encounters with the protagonists and filming are periods to think about length, in close collaboration with the main characters.

From 2004 to 2007, I worked as assistant director for a Paris-based documentary film production company, where I developed the basics and the desire to make films. But I’m a self-taught person in the field of cinema. I direct and produce my films independently, with limited resources, handling the whole filmmaking process on my own.



Jordane Maurs (*1979) lives and works in Berlin since 2007. She studied literature and ethnology at the Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot (LAC – Literature, Art and Cinema). In the context of a research project on female Tuareg poetry she spent one year in Mali and realized the film  Ntamat  (2005-2008). This experience also provided her with insights into the role of the francophonie in African countries, which later fed into her documentary film, The ignorant schoolmaster  comments  (2011).

Autodidact as a filmmaker, Jordane Maurs produces films led by neo-colonialism issues. She also works as a dramaturgist and conducts since 2007 social and political workshops with film and photography as creative mean.

2012- 2015 she develops the documentary essay Role Plays, a biographical and autobiographical film about “humanitarian aid” in the neocolonial time, through the view of two young French men starting a career in the humanitarian sector.

Chosen works as film director/producer:

Role Plays, 58 min, HD video, 2015;  a biographical and autobiographical documentary essay about “humanitarian aid” in the neocolonial time.

The ignorant schoolmaster – Comments, 71 min, HD Video, 2011. A parable on authorityteaching and language, inspired by the book of the same name by contemporary philosopher Jacques Rancière.

N’Tamat, 43 min, video,  2005- 2008. 17 independent sequences about one year in Tuareg country, in the North of Mali. Production, Jordane Maurs

La divine, 26 min, video, 2004. Documentary about the Chinese composer Xu Yi. Key Light, “ZZ” and Arte productions