When Hugo Pratt died in 1995 the whole world paid its respects. It is said he was a great artist and adventurer, but no one noted that when he died he was holding an Ethiopian cross to his chest. His intense relationship with Africa has remained mysterious until now.
Thanks to audiovisual documents never seen before and a recent trip, Hugo in Africa tells this secret love story, which began in 1936 when Pratt arrived in Ethiopia with his family. At ten years of age he found himself thrown from a normal Venetian childhood into a wretched Fascist adventure in Italian East Africa. The six years he spent there will mark his life and his work forever.
Enrolled against his will, he became Mussoliniís youngest soldier and, confronted with the cruelties and ambiguities of war, he developed the moral standards that will give birth to his characters, from Lieutenant Koinsky to the famous Corto Maltese.
Hugo in Africa ís the first documentary dedicated to Pratt realized with the official support of Cong, the society charged with the protection and the development of Hugo Pratt’s body of work
Thanks to this patronage, the documentary features for the first time, the recording of the lengthy interviews of Pratt in his Lausanne home by the historian Dominique Petitfaux. These interviews are combined with the wonderful images realized in Africa in 1981 by his friend Jean Claude Guilbert; and it is this French writer himself who today guides us through the African labyrinth.
Hugo in Africa represents the first chapter of an ambitious work to reconstruct the great cartoonisti’s life, which through four chapters will unveil aspects never seen before.