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Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Alioune Fall, Matoura Dia
Screenplay by Ousmane Sembène
In French and Wolof with English subtitles
Approx. 120 min. DCP
In a 19th-century village, a princess is kidnapped, and a Muslim imam struggles against a Catholic priest for religious and political control, while the ceddo ("ched-doe"), or common people, try to hold on to their traditional ways. Banned in Senegal — ostensibly over the "European" spelling of the title, but more likely for its criticism of Islam, the country's dominant religion — Sembène's historical epic condenses two centuries of African history into a thriller of oppression and intolerance.
"Achieves an operatic orchestration of raw forces similar to Eisenstein's ALEXANDER NEVSKY or Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI."
– The Village Voice