October 19 – 25: Sembene Across Africa (Virtual & Physical Screenings)

Sembene Across Africa, an annual program launched in 2017, returns with a week of online and in-person screenings and seminars, produced in conjunction with more than 100 African institutions.
The Lagos programme will commence with a physical screening of MANDABI (The Money Order) at 7.30pm on Monday, October 19 at the Alliance Française de Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, 9 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. It will be preceded by an opening reception at 6.30pm.
Entry is free! (Face mask mandatory)

Mandabi, Xala and Sembene! will be available to stream for free from October 20 through October 25. Spread the word and grab a ticket here! (Early bird registration guarantees access from October 19th.)
The continental programme, taking place from October 19 to 25, includes two of Ousmane Sembene’s films and a documentary about him:

  • The classic tragicomedy MANDABI (1968), which documents the plight of a Senegalese man who tries to cash a money order from a relative in France;
  • XALA (1975), a biting satire about corruption in the independence era; and
  • SEMBENE! (2015), an award-winning documentary celebrating the life of the self-taught filmmaker who became a giant of world culture.

About MANDABI: A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order. After Ibrahima Dieng, an illiterate, unemployed Senegalese man, suddenly gets a windfall – a money order from his street-sweeper nephew in France for $100 – his “friends”, family and debtors swarm, and he finds himself dealing with a Kafkaesque bureaucracy designed to rob him of both money and dignity. (Wolof with English subtitles).

About SEMBENE! (Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman; 2015)
In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE! tells the unbelievable true story of the self-taught “father of African cinema,” who fought enormous odds to return African stories to Africa. SEMBENE! uses rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials to craft a true-life epic, as an ordinary man transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized.

About XALA (Ousmane Sembene; 1975)
Shot in 1975, amidst the increasingly audacious corruption of post-independence West Africa, XALA follows a group of Senegalese businessmen who, having seized power from the French, fall into the same greed and self-serving policies that they pledged to eradicate. Among them, El Hadj Abou Kader finds himself dealing with a curse that leaves him temporarily impotent with his new young bride, his third wife. He traces the curse back to a surprising source. (Wolof/French with English subtitles)

Fight the Power: Sembene and Black Power, Then and Now (Seminar)

(Live Broadcast in English on Facebook and YouTube.)
Saturday, October 24 | 4.30pm WAT
Watch recording here
Moderated by Dr. Sada Niang (University of Victoria), introduced by Dr. Samba Gadjigo, with Jihan El Tahri (Egypt, writer-director), Ambrose Kom (writer, Cameroon), Pervaiz Khan (writer-curator, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), and Rama Thiaw.
In the late 1960s, Ousmane Sembene emerged as a key voice in an unprecedented international resistance movement. The global Black Power Movement encompassed activists, writers, students, everyday citizens and artists, with Africans, African Americans and Black Europeans collaborating and sharing ideas and energies, and Sembene, thanks to his fearless, fight-the-power works, became an icon. How do those works continue to resonate today?

The Lagos programme is organised by Screen Out Loud, in partnership with the Sembene Across Africa project team and Alliance Française de Lagos.