In pre-colonial Senegal, members of the Ceddo (or “outsiders”) kidnap Princess Dior Yacine (Tabata Ndiaye) after her father (Makhourédia Guèye), the king, pledges loyalty to an ascendant Islamic faction that plans to convert the entire clan to its faith. Attempts to recapture her fail, provoking further division and eventual war between the animistic Ceddo and the fundamentalist Muslims — with Christian missionaries and slave traders from Europe caught in the middle. Yet when the victor prevails, conflict still doesn’t end — and the return of the princess and her still-revered power may very well topple the new order. Banned in Sembène’s native Senegal upon its original release, CEDDO is an ambitious, multilayered epic that explores the combustible interstices among ancient tradition, religious colonization, political opportunism and individual freedom.
Wednesday, Dec 6