Namibian Film Premier of Black Girl by director Ousmane Sembene on Wednesday, 09 October 2013, 18h30 at FNCC

On Wednesday, 09 October 2013, 18h30, AfricAvenir and the FNCC invite to the screening of La Noire de …. / Black Girl, by director Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 1966, 65 min. 

"Of all African film directors, Sembene is the first to confer value to images."
- Med Hondo

Synopsis:
With La noire de... (Black Girl), a first and prize-winning feature, Sembene put Africa on the map of world cinema in 1966. Sembene’s La Noire de.. (1966, The Black Girl from...) was the first film ever produced by an African filmmaker South of the Sahara, and won the Jean Vigo at the Cannes Film Festival.
Black Girl is an exploration of a Senegalese woman who is transplanted to France to work as a maid for a French family. She is stripped of her cultural identity and dissolved into a person of a lesser class whose sole function is to clean up after the household. Her disenchantment with her position leads to hopelessness.
Diouana decides to take matters into her own hands and ends her life so she can emancipate herself from the environment of slave-like captivity.

About the filmmaker:
A film maker, novelist and radical from Senegal in West Africa, Ousmane Sembène consistently opposed imperialism. A few themes predominate in all his work – hatred for the brutal way capitalist and colonialist society makes people behave, sympathy for the poor and dispossessed, and identification with and empowerment of women.
He was born in 1923, the son of a fisherman. He grew up under French colonial rule, was conscripted and fought in the French army during the Second World War. After this he worked on the railways, and took part in an epic rail strike that paralysed French West Africa in 1947 and 1948. These events would provide the basis for his greatest novel, God's Bits of Wood.
Following the strike he moved to France and worked both in car plants and as a docker. He was also an active trade unionist and a member of the Communist Party. This experience inspired his first novel, Black Docker (1956).
But it is his third novel, God's Bits of Wood (1960), that every socialist should read. It is not just the best novel about a strike in Africa, but one of the best ever written, showing with the vividness of lived experience how collective activity educates and matures the participants.
Sembène has continued to write, notably the post-colonial satire Xala (1974), but his main concern since the mid sixties has been film making, and he has become probably Africa's foremost film director.
In the early 1960s he studied at the Gorky Studio in Moscow. He produced his first feature, Black Girl, in 1966 and has been making films, often under difficult circumstances ever since. Their settings are wide ranging and include urban and rural, modern and historical, realistic drama and satire. Among the highlights are the brutal 1975 satire Xala, based on his own novel, and his magnificent 1987 Camp de Thiaroye, which raised the issue of how African soldiers returning from the Second World War, were not prepared to return to the status quo. His last completed feature was Moolaadé, released in 2004, which campaigned against female genital mutilation.  It was to be his last film.
Often referred to as “the father of African cinema”, one of the greatest masters of modern cinema, Sembene died on June 9, 2007.

Selected works:
• Le docker noir,1956 - The Black Docker (trans. by Ros Schwartz)
• O Pays Mon Beau people, 1957
• Les Bouts de bois de dieu: Banty Mam Yall,1960 - God's Bits of Wood (trans. by Francis Price) - Jumalan puupalikat (suom. Leena Jokinen)
• Voltaique, 1962 - Tribal Scar and Other Stories (trans. by Len Ortzen)
• L'HARMATTAN, 1963 - The Wind
• Vehi-Ciosane, 1964 - published with Le Mandat under the title The Money Order and White Genesis (trans. by Clive Wake)
• Le mandate, 1965 (the novel was also filmed by Sembéne Ousmane)
• Xala: roman, 1973 - Xala (trans. by Clive Wake)
• Man Is Culture (Hans Wolff Memorial Lecture), 1979
• Le dernier de l’empire1981 - The Last of Empire (trans. by Adrian Adams)
• Niiwam, 1987
• Taaw, 1987 - published with Niiwam under the title Niiwam and Taaw
Films:
• Borom Sarret, 1963 (short film)
• L'empire Songhaï, 1963  (short film)
• Niaye, 1964 (short film)
• La Noire de..., 1966
• Mandabi / Le mandat, 1968
• Taaw, 1971
• E Mitai, 1971 - God of Thunder
• Xala, 1974
• Ceddo, 1977
• Camp de Thiaroye, 1988 (with Thierno Faty Sow)
• Guelwaar, 1992
• Faat-Kine, 1999
• Moolaadé, 2004 (starring Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maïmouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré, Dominique T. Zeïda)

Date: Wednesday, 09 October 2013
Time: 6.30 p.m.
Entrance: 20 N$
Venue: FNCC

The screening is supported by M-Net.

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2013

 

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