In commemoration of the centenary of the “father of African cinema,” Senegalese novelist-turned-filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, both a sharp critic of modern Africa and passionate advocate for its autonomy — whose filmography spans 40 years — we offer these new restorations of three revolutionary films from the 1970s.
Savvy Belcourt patrons may recall opportunities to see Sembène’s best known film BLACK GIRL (1966), a recent restoration of MANDABI (1968), or even his final film MOOLAADÉ during its theatrical release in 2005. While no less essential and every bit as crucial, the films presented here — EMITAÏ (1971), XALA (1975), and CEDDO (1977) — have been much harder to access. Other features and shorts remain as difficult to find to this day.
“It’s more than Sembène being essential in any condition — anybody seeing these films just now is also supremely lucky.” —Nick Newman, Film Stage