Friday, September 8 – Thursday, September 21, 2023
A two-week retrospective of the pioneering Senegalese auteur’s radical, groundbreaking work, commemorating his centennial year. The series spans across four decades, from his debut feature BLACK GIRL (1966), a harrowing drama widely celebrated as the first African film; to his Cannes-prize winning final film MOOLAADÉ (2004); and includes the U.S. theatrical premiere of three new 4K restorations — EMITAÏ (1971), XALA (1975), and CEDDO (1977); as well as his essential short films Borom Sarret (1963), Niaye (1964), and Tauw (1970), along with Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman’s documentary SEMBÈNE! (2015).
“While he had a late start as a moviemaker, his films got better with age. They were the work of a pioneer; fierce, didactic, abundantly alive with pride, shame, fury, hope and realism… Art was his activism. His movies were dramas that made you laugh, comedies that shook your heart, tracts that boiled the blood.”
– Wesley Morris
The films of Ousmane Sembène are distributed by Janus FIlms.
Special thanks to Alain Sembène, Simon Duffy (BFI Southbank, London), Mark Johnson (Harvard Film Archive), Brian Meacham (Yale Film Archive), Curzon Artificial Eye (London).
Presented with support from Villa Albertine