SEMBENE!

Director: Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman
Country: Senegal/USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 82 min.
Language: English and French with English subtitles

sembene

In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. Sembene! chronicles the self-taught novelist and filmmaker’s 50-year struggle to return African stories to Africans and become the father of African cinema. Sembene’s colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo uses rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials to tell this remarkable story of an ordinary man who transformed himself into a fearless spokesperson and hero for the marginalized.

About the Director

Samba Gadjigo

Biography: Samba Gadjigo (writer/producer/director) is the world’s foremost expert on the career of Ousmane Sembène. He was the official biographer of the late filmmaker, and acted as Sembène’s agent in the United States. Born and raised in Senegal, Gadjigo was educated at the University of Dakar and the École Normale Supérieure, also in Dakar, and received his PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation, published in 1990, analyzed representations of the French system of schooling in West Africa. In addition to having written and edited several books, he frequently contributes articles about French and francophone African literature and film. In 1986, Samba Gadjigo joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., is former chair of the French Department and member of the African American and African Studies departments. Gadjigo has lectured widely on Sembène and on African cinema, literature and culture at institutions including Harvard and Brown universities. He is director of The Making of Moolaadé, a documentary that was shown at film festivals and is available on the DVD of Sembène‘s award-winning film Moolaadé.

(Sources:
– AFF, Inc.
Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.10
http://www.africultures.com/php/index.php?nav=personne&no=5844)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Making of Moolaadé (2005);
SEMBENE! (2016).

Filmography:
The Making of Moolaadé (2004);
SEMBENE! (2015).