• Ousmane Sembene – La noire de… AKA Black Girl (1966)

    1961-1970African CinemaArthouseDramaOusmane SembeneSenegal

    Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.Read More »

  • Djibril Diop Mambéty – Badou Boy (1970)

    1961-1970African CinemaComedyDjibril Diop MambétyExperimentalSenegal

    Publisher’s description:
    The 1970 colour full-lengh film Badou Boy, a south-Sahara “cops and robbers” movie, “it’s a part of my youthful years, many Africans empathizes with the amoral waif, the movie character that is so similar to me”, declared the director. Shot in 16mm, it won the gold medal at the MIFED of Milan and the golden Tanit at 1970 Cathage Festival.Read More »

  • Djibril Diop Mambéty – Contras’ City (1968)

    1961-1970African CinemaDjibril Diop MambétyDocumentarySenegalShort Film

    Publisher’s description:
    The satirical documentary Contras’ City (which stands for Contrast City) was shot on 16mm in 1968. It is one of the earliest African comic movie and an urban planning analysis of the “two Dakars”. It is considered the first African comedy. It is a satire on Dakar – a city in which styles and cultures are blended in a cosmopolitan small area. Mambety manipulates the classic documentary apparatus with the object of exploring social conflicts of the capital city.Read More »

  • Ababacar Samb-Makharam – Kodou (1971)

    1971-1980Ababacar Samb-MakharamAfrican CinemaDramaSenegal

    A young girl, Kodou, submits herself, somewhat out of bravado, to a tattooing practice. But in the middle of the ceremony, and while the matrons are singing to her, Kodou runs away – a serious offence to the age-old traditions of the village. Kodou’s family feels discredited, her friends make fun of her. Confined to a quasi-quarantine, Kodou goes mad and violently attacks the young children. Her parents end up taking her to a psychiatric hospital run by a European doctor, but to no avail. They then decide to submit her to a traditional exorcism session. Then Kodou is brought back home. Will she be cured?Read More »

  • Safi Faye – Mossane (1997)

    Safi Faye1981-1990African CinemaArthouseDramaSenegal

    This Senegalese melodrama tells the story of a young girl called Mossane who lives in a village between the ocean and the savannah. There, veneration for the traditions is very common. There’s a legend saying that every other century a girl is born who is doomed because of her beauty. Mossane is only fourteen years old but is already considered to be extraordinary beautiful. Even her own brother is in love with her. According to the custom she has been promised to a rather wealthy man called Diogoye since the day of her birth. However, Mossane is in love with the poor student Fara who is forced to return to the village while the university is on strike. Torn between her own dreams and traditions, Mossane decides to escape. The film shows the resistance of the young generation and is dedicated especially to the African women, their courage and their wish for emancipation.Read More »

  • Safi Faye – Kaddu Beykat (1976)

    1971-1980African CinemaDramaSafi FayeSenegal

    Ngor is a young man living in a Senegalese village who wishes to marry Columba. Ongoing drought in the village has affected its crop of groundnuts and as a result, Ngor cannot afford the bride price for Columba.Read More »

  • Momar Thiam – Baks (1974)

    1961-1970African CinemaDramaMomar ThiamSenegal

    This is certainly the first African film to tackle the problem of street children and drugs. Idrissa is a rebellious little boy who drops out of school and joins a gang of hooligans that live on the beaches of Dakar. He gradually becomes detached from his family and adopted by his new friends who initiate him into the art of theft and the pleasures of yamba, marijuana. In his new role as a “tough guy”, Idrissa becomes Boy Idi and begins to push joints. Everybody seems to smoke in Dakar. “Even respectable people do it”, says one of the small drug pushers. Whilst Idrissa’s father loses interest in the fate of his son, his mother decides to go to the police and an inspector sets off to hunt down the gang.Read More »

  • Mamadou Dia – Baamum Nafi AKA Nafi’s Father (2019)

    2011-2020African CinemaDramaMamadou DiaSenegal

    A fight between an Imam and his powerful brother over their children’s marriage. At stake: how a small community slowly drifts towards extremism.Read More »

  • Manthia Diawara & Ngugi Wa Thiong’o – Sembène: The Making of African Cinema (1994)

    1991-2000African CinemaDocumentaryManthia DiawaraNgugi Wa Thiong'oSenegal

    This rich documentary follows the legendary Senagalese filmmaker Sembene Ousmane from the Pan African Film Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso back to the streets of Dakar and his Galle Ceddo home at Yoff, overlooking the sea. Revisiting several locations of his films, Sembene Ousmane reminisces about his career and discusses his craft.Read More »

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