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Senegal, 1975
Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Thierno Leye, Seune Samb, Douta Seck, Younousse Sèye
Screenplay by Ousmane Sembène, adapted from his own novel
In French and Wolof with English subtitles
Approx. 123 min. DCP.

Fiftyish fat cat El Hadji Abdou Kader Beye enjoys a flourishing import business, two wives (traditional and Westernized), and a white Mercedes — and now he’s appointed to the Chamber of Commerce. Time to add that third wife; but on the wedding night he fails to rise to the occasion — could he be the victim of a xala? Savagely funny satire of the new post-independence ruling class that, despite government censorship, broke Senegalese box office records and hit its targets where they lived.


“The actors are wonderful, especially the women who play the first two wives — ladies of magisterial personality, social shrewdness and sexual pride. The wedding sequence makes the one in THE GODFATHER look like a wedding party at McDonalds.”

 “A hilarious attack on the self-inflicted shame of Africans trying to be Europeans.”
– Scott Foundas

Film Forum