Country:Senegal; USA 2014
Language:OF m. engl. UT
Length:88 Minutes
Film series:14. African Film Festival

Director :Gadjigo, Samba
 Silverman, Jason


Ousmane Sembène is an icon of African cinema. His 1962 short film BOROM SARRET, shot in the port city of Dakar, is seen as the first independent film production south of the Sahara. Sembène is from Casamance in the south of Senegal, he worked as a fisherman on his father`s boat and as a docker at the port in Marseille. A self-taught writer, he drew on these experiences for his novels. As the majority of the population in Senegal could not read or write and he therefore found his target audience difficult to reach, he began to adapt his books into films shortly after his country`s independence (in 1960). He completed his film studies in Moscow and saw cinema as a kind of evening school for the common man, whose interests he has always stood up for.
Over the course of two decades, FilmInitiativ has screened almost all of Sembène`s films at the festival in Cologne. After his death in 2007, FilmInitiativ devoted a homage to him at the 10th Cologne African Film Festival (2008). Reason enough to screen the documentary SEMBENE! by his companion Samba Gadjigo this year which, with archive footage, interviews and film excerpts, offers a very personal and not uncritical portrait of this extraordinary director, while revealing little known sides to him.

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