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Film Screening: SEMBENE! The Inspiring Story of the Father of African Cinema with Director Samba Gadjigo

Join us for a film screening of SEMBENE! to learn about the story of the life and work of the founder of post-independence West African cinema, Ousmane Sembène. Meet director Samba Gadjigo, the world’s foremost expert on Sembène’s career. Ousmane Sembène is Africa’s leading filmmaker whose films influenced political, social, and aesthetic debates during and beyond the 1960s, a pivotal era of decolonization and independence in Africa.
Sembene! is a 2015 documentary film focusing on the life of Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, who is considered to be the father of African cinema. It is co-directed by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman. The film's world premiere took place at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015, and it also played at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The Stanford Center for African Studies film screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with co-writer, producer, and director Samba Gadjigo.
About the film:
Born in 1923 in southern Senegal, Sembène was a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout. Self-taught, he read voraciously and became a novelist, advocating for his belief that Africans would experience true liberation when they threw off European models and discovered their own, homegrown versions of modernity. Seeing cinema’s potential to reach a wider and more diverse African audience, he began his film career as a pioneer in the 1960s, creating tremendous, sophisticated films from few resources. His work aimed to promote freedom and social justice using film as an educational tool. Watch the official trailer!
About the director:
Samba Gadjigo (writer/producer/director) is the world’s foremost expert on the career of Ousmane Sembène. He was the official biographer of the late filmmaker, and acted as Sembène’s agent in the United States. Born and raised in Senegal, Gadjigo was educated at the University of Dakar and the École Normale Supérieure, also in Dakar, and received his PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In addition to having written and edited several books, he frequently contributes articles about French and francophone African literature and film. In 1986, Samba Gadjigo joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, is former chair of the French Department and member of the African American and African Studies departments. Gadjigo has lectured widely on Sembène and on African cinema, literature and culture.



Monday, February 13, 2017. 05:30 PM


Room 305, Building 200, History Corner, Main Quad


Department of French and Italian, African Students Association, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, History Department, Department of Art & Art History, Department of Anthropology, Center for African Studies




Dinner served. Open to the public.