A film by Raoul Peck

2024 / documentary / France, Etats-Unis / Color / status : completed / English / Feature Documentary / International collections

Ernest Cole, a South African photographer was the first to expose the horrors of apartheid to a world audience. His book House of Bondage, published in 1967 when he was only 27 years old, led him into exile in NYC and Europe for the rest of his life, never to find his bearings.

Raoul Peck recounts his wanderings, his turmoil as an artist and his anger, on a daily basis, at the silence or complicity of the Western world in the face of the horrors of the Apartheid regime. He also recounts how, in 2017, 60,000 negatives of his work were discovered in the safe of a Swedish bank.

Raoul Peck’s (I Am Not Your Negro) search for the soul of overlooked artist Ernest Cole, is nestled in an international thriller, delving into the complexities of race  through his timeless imagery. 


“A heartbreaking elegy to the photographer, and a kind of mystery. Ernest Cole, Lost And Found mourns the pictures and the man left unseen. Eloquently edited and structured, Peck has crafted another timely documentary which should spark conversations about the crushing impact of intolerance and, with Academy Award-nominated actor LaKeith Stanfield delivering a palpably defiant narration, Ernest Cole, Lost And Found should be a tempting prospect for international distributors. While Peck’s latest recalls his previous films about Black revolutionary figures such as the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro and Lumumba, this might be the most tender of his works.”


“A powerful testament. Peck’s documentary delves into Cole’s life with a depth that illuminates his life and work, while Stanfield embodies Cole’s voice with empathy. It is a reminder of the spirit required to confront and document injustice and the personal cost that often accompanies such commitment. Peck’s film is a necessary tribute that ensures Ernest’s contributions are recognized and remembered for generations. His book and photos challenges us to reflect on the enduring nature of white supremacy and the power of visual storytelling in the fight for justice.”



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