Ceddo

Director: Ousmane Sembène
Country: Senegal
Year: 1977
Running Time: 120 min.
Language: Wolof

Set in the seventeenth century, at the onset of enslavement trade, Ceddo unravels the complex religious and social forces at work in a Senegalese village. According to Sembene, “Ceddo was the name given to the last holders of African spiritualism before it became tinged with Islam or Christianity.” When the villagers (“Ceddo”) are introduced, their traditional religion is being threatened not only by the presence of the white trader and the missionary, but also by the influence gained by the Islamic leader (Iman) on the king. Princess Dior Yacine is kidnapped to force the king to take action against the Iman. The ending has the unexpected beauty of a Greek tragedy, with the Princess proudly reassuring her rights as a woman and as an African.