Rebel With a Camera: The Cinema of Ousmane Sembène
Ousmane Sembène, otherwise known as the father of African cinema, is one of the key figures of world cinema, and yet his works—still relevant today—remain unknown to many. Through this programme we will explore his work through the new and highly acclaimed documentary SEMBÈNE!, capturing the life of this prolific filmmaker. This will be screened alongside three of Sembène’s films explored in the documentary: Xala, Moolaadé and Black Girl, each of which was in itself a key and groundbreaking work of world cinema.
The programme is coordinated in Collaboration with Aya Distribution with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.
Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman | Senegal/US 2015 | 1h29m | English, French and Wolof with English subtitles | Documentary | 12
In 1952, Ousmane Sembène, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. This feature-length documentary tells the unbelievable true story of the “father of African cinema”, the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans. Sembène! 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 material. A true-life epic, Sembène! follows an ordinary man who transformed himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalised, becoming a hero to millions.
‘A welcome survey of the life and art of “the father of African film’- The Hollywood reporter
‘The remarkable career of Senegalese filmmaker Sembène Ousmane gets an appropriate overview in this intelligent, dry doc.’- Variety