Friday, June 7
(1971, Ousmane Sembène) God of Thunder. “I dedicate this film to all militants of the African cause.” When, during WWII, French troops come to a Diola village to conscript the men and confiscate the rice, the women hide the crop and the elders consult with the gods, but events slowly escalate to tragedy. Based on an actual incident, filming on location in the village of Dimbering took about seven weeks spread over a year (Sembène had to work around the planting seasons) and entailed the director learning the Diola language as well. The film’s final horrific image was blacked out by the French. 35mm print courtesy Cinémathèque Française and Janus Films. Approx. 103 min.
“A direct challenge to deeply rooted beliefs, a challenge that makes no concessions to the expectations and desires of Western audiences.”
– Michael Popkin, The Village Voice