||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
Maldoror, the daughter of immigrants from Guadaloupe, chose her artist's name in remembrance of Les Chants de Maldoror by Lautréamont. She attended a drama school in Paris. Together with her husband, Angolan nationalist Mário Pinto de Andrade, she received a scholarship and studied film with Mark Donskoi in Moscow in 1961-62 where she met Ousmane Sembène. She is best known for her feature film Sambizanga (1972) on the 1961-1974 war in Angola.
Maldoror's short film, Monangambee (1968), was set in Angola, based on a story by Angolan writer José Luandino Vieira. This 17-minute long film's title, Monangambée, refers to the call used by Angolan anti-colonial activists to signal a village meeting. The film was shot with amateur actors in Algeria. It tells the story of a poor woman who visits her husband, who is imprisoned in the city of Luanda. The film was selected for the Director's Fortnight at Cannes in 1971, representing Angola.
Her first feature film, Sambizanga, was also based on a story by Vieira.
Sarah Maldoror is one of the first women to direct a feature film in Africa; therefore, her work is often included in studies of the role of African women in African cinema.
- Maldoror won a Tanit d'or at the 1972 Carthage Film Festival
- Maldoror received the National Order of Merit (France) from the Government of France
My role as filmmaker is cultural. What interests me is culture, to research films about African history, because our history has been written by others and not by us. Therefore, if I don't take an interest in my own history, then who is going to do it? I think it is up to us to defend our own history. It is up to us to make it known, with all our qualities and faults, our hopes and despair—it is our role to do it!
- Monangambé, 1968
- Des fusils pour Banta (Guns for Banta), 1970
- Carnaval en Guinée-Bissau (Carnival in Guinea-Bissau), 1971
- Sambizanga, 1972
- Un carneval dans le Sahel (Carnival in Sahel), 1977
- Folgo, Ile de Feu
- Et les chiens se taisaient (And the dogs kept silent)
- Un homme, une terre (A man, a country)
- La Basilique de Saint-Denis
- Un dessert pour Constance, 1983
- Le cimetière du Père Lachaise
- Robert Lapoujade, peintre
- Toto Bissainthe, Chanteuse
- René Depestre, poète
- L'hôpital de Leningrad, 1983
- La littérature tunisienne de la Bibliothèque nationale
- Un sénégalias en Normandie
- Robert Doisneau, photographe
- Le racisme au quotidien (Daily life racism), 1983
- Le passager du Tassili (The Tassili passenger), 1987
- Aimé Césaire, le masque des mots (Aimé Césaire, word as masks), 1986
- Emmanuel Ungaro, couturier
- Louis Aragon - Un masque à Paris
- Vlady, peintre
- Léon G. Damas, 1995
- L'enfant-cinéma, 1997
- La tribu du bois de l'é (In the time of people)
Documentary about Sarah Maldoror
- Sarah Maldoror ou la nostalgie de l’utopie by Anne Laure Folly, France /Togo, 1998.
- "Sarah Maldoror, Guadeloupe, France", translation of interview at 15th edition of FESPACO, February 1997, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; originally published in Sisters of the Screen: Women of Africa on Film Video and Television, Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ, 2000.
- "Angola: Brutality Betrayal". Village Voice. 6 December 1973. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- Dembrow, Michael. "Sambizanga and Sarah Maldoror". Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Sambizanga Review". MUBI. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Remise de l'ordre national du mérite à Sarah Maldoror par Frédéric Mitterand". Retrieved 22 August 2012.