Sembène 100

March 3–April 21, 2024

A centennial tribute featuring new digital restorations and rare 35mm prints in honor of the great filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, whose cinema is about Senegal coming into its own as a nation. Rebellious and committed, Sembène paved the way for generations of African filmmakers.

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  • Mandabi

  • Black Girl

  • Moolaadé

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Sembène!

    Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman
    United States, Senegal, 2015
    Sunday, March 3 3 PM

    “A documentary about the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker, this movie covers the essentials about a cultural warrior whose nine varied features and assorted shorts could still use better recognition” (New York Times).

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  • Black Girl

    Ousmane Sembène
    France, Senegal, 1966

    4K Digital Restoration

    Thursday, March 7 7 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, and Niaye, about the scandal of a pregnant young girl.

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  • Mandabi

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, 1968

    4K Digital Restoration

    Thursday, March 14 7 PM

    A comic fable about a middle-aged man in Dakar whose life changes when he receives a money order from Paris. “[Ousmane] Sembène’s approach is spare, laconic, slightly ironic, and never patronizing” (New York Times). The film received the International Critics’ Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

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  • Sembène!

    Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman
    United States, Senegal, 2015
    Friday, March 22 5 PM

    “A documentary about the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker, this movie covers the essentials about a cultural warrior whose nine varied features and assorted shorts could still use better recognition” (New York Times).

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  • Emitaï

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, 1971

    4K Digital Restoration

    Sunday, March 24 4 PM

    Named for the Diola 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 World War II. “Told with great sensitivity and restraint” (San Francisco Chronicle). Preceded by the short dramatic film Tauw.

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  • Xala

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, 1975

    4K Digital Restoration

    Sunday, March 31 4 PM

    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).

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  • Ceddo

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, 1977

    4K Digital Restoration

    Sunday, April 7 1:30 PM

    In the guise of a political thriller set in the eighteenth 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, [Ousmane] Sembène has created a form of public, primal art” (Village Voice).

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  • Guelwaar

    Ousmane Sembène
    France, Senegal, 1992

    Digital Restoration

    Saturday, April 13 7 PM

    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” (New York Times).

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  • Faat Kiné

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, 2001

    35mm Archival Print

    Friday, April 19 7 PM

    The first in Ousmane 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).

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  • Moolaadé

    Ousmane Sembène
    Senegal, France, Burkina Faso, 2004

    Imported 35mm Print

    Sunday, April 21 2 PM

    Universally acclaimed, Ousmane Sembène’s final 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” (New York Times).

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