Ousmane Sembène: Pioneer of African Cinema

10/7/06 to 10/26/06

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Past Films

  • The Camp at Thiaroye

    • Thursday, October 26 19:30

    At the close of WWII, Senegalese troops are held in a Dakar transit camp that is little better than the concentration camps some of them have just braved. A "powerful indictment of colonialism . . . shows WWII's effects on shaping the future of Africa."-Variety

  • Faat-Kine

    • Saturday, October 21 20:45

    The first in Sembène's series on "everyday heroes" (Moolaadé is the second) centers on the quick-witted proprietress of a Dakar gas station. "A rich comedy of manners that gives a feeling of hope about Africa's future."-Film Comment

  • Guelwaar

    • Saturday, October 21 18:30

    When the body of a murdered political activist goes missing from the morgue, his family's attempts to retrieve it nearly escalate into a holy war. "A work of wry sophistication."-N.Y. Times

  • Emitaï

    • Friday, October 20 18:30

    Named for the God of Thunder, a story about the awakening of national consciousness, in the clash between French colonists and the Diola tribe in the closing days of WWII. "Told with great sensitivity and restraint."-S.F. Chronicle

  • Moolaadé

    • Friday, October 20 20:35

    Universally acclaimed, Sembène's recent film portrays a mother's courage in protecting the next generation of women from the terrible tradition of female genital mutilation. "A masterpiece of political filmmaking."-N.Y. Times

  • Xala

    • Saturday, October 14 20:15

    An aging, affluent businessman about to marry his third wife is struck with the curse of xala (impotence) in "one of the most sophisticated works of the African cinema-at once both comic satire and a deadly accurate polemic against the black bourgeoisie of Dakar."-Albert Johnson

  • Ceddo

    • Friday, October 13 20:15

    In the guise of a political thriller set in the 18th century, Ceddo takes on taboo subjects-Islamic influence in Senegal, African support for the slave trade, the status of women-becoming a reflection on all forms of colonialism in Africa. "Like a contemporary Euripides, Sembène has created a form of public, primal art."-Village Voice

  • Black Girl

    • Saturday, October 7 6:30 PM

    Her postcolonial hopes dashed, a young Senegalese woman is led to a dramatic act of resistance in Black Girl, considered Africa's first dramatic feature. With Borom Sarret, a poignant, politically charged essay on a cart driver in the poorer sections of Dakar.

  • Mandabi

    • Saturday, October 7 20:15

    A comic fable about a middle-aged man whose life changes when he receives a money order from Paris. "Sembène's approach is spare, laconic, slightly ironic, and never patronizing."-N.Y. Times