Thur. Oct 6, 7pm
Sembene, Ousmane Senegal, 1966, 65 min
Black & White
Shown with Borom Saret
Studio Movie Grill Chatham 14
210 W. 87th St. Chicago, 60620
Ousmane Sembène, one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived and the most internationally renowned African director of the twentieth century, made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl (La noire de . . .). Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a figurative and literal prison—into a complex, layered critique on the lingering colonialist mindset of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.
Borom Sarret aka The Wagoner (1963), the first film by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène over which he had full control. It is often considered the first film ever made in Africa by an African. It is twenty minutes long and tells a story about a cart driver in Dakar. The film illustrates the poverty in Africa, showing that independence has not solved the problems of its people. It was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.