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 »
Tag Archives: Ousmane Sembene
In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE! tells the unbelievable true story of the father of African cinema, the self- taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to return African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions. After a startling fall from grace, can Sembene reinvent himself once more? Read More »
Imagine, if you will, a story written for Akira Kurosawa. You know, one with armies clashing and sieges of great castles. Now imagine the story was done instead by a third-grade grammar-school class of about thirty people–the same heavy themes but where Kurosawa would show an army the play has to use two people. Instead of a castle there would be a tent. You would get a sort of “micro-epic.” Okay, now you have some idea what a “micro-epic” might be. Ousmane Sembene’s 1977 Senegalese film CEDDO is a very big film on a very small scale. The film, based on a true story, takes place in one village but it is still the stuff of epics. Read More »
Burial of a Christian political activist in a Muslim cemetary forces a conflict imbued with religious fervor. A satiric portrayal of religion and politics, sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious. Read More »
As World War II is going on in Europe, a conflict arises between the French and the Diola-speaking tribe of Africa, prompting the village women to organize their men to sit beneath a tree to pray. Read More »
Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène’s Borom Sarret tells the story of a poor man trying to make a living as a cart driver in Dakar.
Borom Sarret or The Wagoner (French: Le Charretier) is a 1963 film by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène, the first film over which he had full control.
It is often considered the first film ever made in Africa by a black African. It is 18 minutes long and tells a story about a cart driver in Dakar. The film illustrates the poverty in Africa, showing that independence has not solved the problems of its people.
It was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. [Wikipedia] Read More »
“It’s possible that a good half of the greatest African movies ever made are the work of novelist-turned-filmmaker Ousmane Sembene (Black Girl, Xala, Ceddo). Camp Thiaroye (1988), cowritten and codirected by Thierno Faty Sow, recounts an incident that occurred in 1944. Returning from four years of European combat in the French army, Senegalese troops are sent to a transit camp, where they have to contend with substandard food and other indignities. An intellectual sergeant major (Ibrahima Sane) gets thrown out of a local bordello when he goes there for a drink; mistaken for an American soldier, he’s arrested and beaten by American MPs, which provokes his men into kidnapping an American GI. Then when the Senegalese troops discover that they’re about to be cheated out of half their back pay, they launch a revolt. Read More »