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Senegal, 1993
Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Abou Camara, Marie Augustine Diatta, Mame Ndoumbé Diop
Screenplay by Ousmane Sembène
In French and Wolof with English subtitles
Approx. 115 min. 35mm.

Bad enough that political activist Guelwaar ("the noble one") has just died mysteriously, right after a mesmerizing opening speech — but where's the body? Misidentified and buried in a Muslim cemetery? But he was a Catholic! The solution is obvious — but the family's disinterment plans rapidly derail as a bitingly comic firestorm of red tape, intra-family disputes, and religious turf wars threaten to escalate into mayhem.


"Has a remarkable richness, at once lyrical and satirical, intimate and analytical."
– Dave Kehr

“Despite the particular nature of its premise, GUELWAAR has the clear, simple universality that is a powerful aspect of Mr. Sembène's work.”
– Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A masterpiece of African cinema, a trenchant cultural document, and a wonderful, healing comic drama.”
– Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

“A story of force and lucidity … Sembène’s exposition, which stands in contrast to the style of most American and European movies, deserves to be called Homeric.”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

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