Dead by suicide, on June 7, Philippe Mory, actor, director, father of Gabonese cinema, was buried June 18, 2016 in Lambaréné … in simplicity and mystery.
Philippe Mory has been original and eccentric through his human adventure: he was buried on June 18 in Lambaréné in a grave with two vaults; one for the empty hearse used throughout the funeral, the other for the mortal remains, wrapped in a white shroud and placed in the ground.
The father of Gabonese cinema had wanted this unique burial, repeating it often enough to Jean Justin Maury Ngowemandji, his eldest son, who explained to the forty people at the place of burial in Galwa cemetery of Lambaréné, where women were not allowed for the occasion. Surrealistic: for a Christian, a literally Muslim kind of funeral, placed under the aegis of traditional rites. Why? The answer lies in spirituality. The man was probably a Freemason, if we stick to the concept of “eternal East “, evoked in a number of eulogies that day and peculiar to this secret society.
Philippe Mory also rejected a funeral with great pomp. He wouldl have a very simple funeral . Contrary to what would have happened in Libreville if it had taken place there, only nearly a hundred people made the trip to Lambaréné. A delegation of the Ministry of Communications led by its General Secretary; another of the Gabonese Institute of Image and Sound (IGIS) with many agents, its PCA and its managing director; independent filmmakers, fans, friends, relatives and acquaintances, converged on the neighborhood Atongowanga, the home of the eldest son of the actor and director, who is also the mayor of the 2nd arrondissement of the city, the above-named Justin Maury Ngowemandji. The pasage to the funeral home of some personalities of the locality did not go unnoticed, especially Richard Auguste Onouviet, President of the National Assembly, Ida Réténo Ndiaye Assonouet, former minister, or Alevina Chavillot a distinguished personality of the locality.
While he lived in recent years in the artistic bohemia, the funeral wake of the Gabonese cinema monument took place in the rather sumptuous villa of his son, at the entrance of which stood a sort of movie poster titled “Philippe, The actor never die”. It read: “The Cage has closed, The tomtoms are silent, For the child’s return to the village, we will not bury you on Sunday.” A pun on the titles of his films, as an actor or director.
Inside the villa, around a well-built chapel, endless prayers, including that of Father Daniel Franck Idiata, the author of a biography of the artist – “The price of freedom, truths about Philippe Mory, the Gabonese icon of African cinema.” – Or still that of IGIS, proclaimed by the actor Jean-Claude Mpaka, but especially that of Patrice Révangué Zavrosa, a “friend and brother”, who made it known that Philippe Mory had written poetry at the Libreville central prison where he was imprisoned in 1964 for taking part in the coup against Leon Mba that year.
Thus, in a poem titled “Anxiety” Mory wrote:
“The petals detach themselves from the flower happily
And fly away to the pleasures of new breath,
A lightning explodes the colorless sky, violence and blood
Africa mourns around an old tomb
The sky is covered with moving and stinking clouds,
The bewildered continent falls in nasty scraps ”
In another poem, “The Race,” Philippe Mory smelling death, according to the word of Patrice Révangué Zavrosa, written from the central prison in Libreville in 1967:
“As the shooting star at which the passer-by looks
Life dies at the end of the race
My senses are lost and find themselves
To dissolve in the intoxication of life!
Tomorrrow… is far away
The race is long
Now ! Yes now !
Everyone lives his share of dreams!
The winner of any body that fights
The rot is still the rot!
Dressed in his best clothes, the man looks like the society:
The rot is in the belly! ”
Texts that could have been written shortly before that fateful June 18, 2016, when the actor decided to leave the world of men. Current, too current .
A cohort of a hundred people walked behind the hearse to accompany the actor to his final resting place in a traditional cemetery preserved as a national park, a forest in the hills of the central island of Lambaréné. The mouth is thus closed. Born in 1932, Philippe Mory was 84 years old.