Sembène: Father of African Cinema

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SEMBÈNE!_ICONSembène: Father of African Cinema

Image from the film Sembene
With a filmography spanning over 40 years, Senegal’s Ousmane Sembène (1923–2007) earned international renown as a revolutionary artist and as the Father of African Cinema for his indigenized filmmaking practice. Sembène eschewed Western languages and narrative style for a new cinematic aesthetic drawing from African storytelling traditions, performed in African languages (Wolof, Diola, Bambara), and expressly produced for African audiences. As Samba Gadjibo quotes Sembène: “Africa is my ‘audience’ while the West and the ‘rest’ are only targeted as ‘markets.’” Fifty years on from his first feature production, we celebrate his legacy with a new documentary and two recent digital restorations.


This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, The Media School, the Cinema and Media Studies program, and the departments of African Studies, French and Italian, and Comparative Literature.

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