Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org (
About: 'The Cinema of Senegal' (revisited)

Tue, 6 Aug 1996 16:35:59 -0400

Originally from: <owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org>
Originally dated: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 16:35:59 -0400

From: owner-h-afrlitcine
To: Multiple recipients of list H-AFRLITCINE
Subject: Re: "The Cinema of Senegal" (revisited)
Date: Thursday, 01 August, 1996 9:20PM

Dear list readers,
I'm afraid the following was sent inadvertently.
The good offices of Creative Arts Television are responsible
for the video on Senegal, to which the following message

On Wed, 31 Jul 1996 wrote:

Subscribers to the list may be interested in a half-hour documentary we
produced in 1978 for television. It has not been seen since and is not
available in stores. If there is sufficient interest for academic and
research use we will make VHS copies at $50 each, post paid. Respond
directly to to indicate interest. Please give us a fax
We will fax order form.

The Cinema of Senegal.

Larry Kardish, film expert in the film division of the Museum of Modern
Art in New York City discusses African filmmaking with two Senegalese
filmmakers, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra and Ousmane Sembene (in French with
English voice over) and shows excerpts from current Senegalese films.

3:30 CLIP: "Et la Neige N'etait Plus" directed by Ababacair
Samb-Makharam. A young man in Western clothes educated abroad returns to
is native village. He can't adjust. He eats with a spoon; his family eats
with their hands. Non-synch sound in French.

3:50 CLIP: "Reouh-Takh" directed by Mahamaba Johnson Traore in 1971.
Concerned with the brutality of the French colonialists and their black
African helpers.

5:29 CLIP: "Ceddo" directed by Sembene. Concerned with the forced
conversion to Islam of the native black African. Historical. "Debauch
and drinking are forbidden," says the Muslim Imam to the sour-faced
New king (Muslim) is proclaimed, and everyone's name is changed to a
Muslim one.

The Interviews which run three to four minutes each between excerpts are
enlightening and revelatory of an Africa we know little about. How films
are made in Africa, how they are handled in labs in France, USA, USSR or
Britain. Frank discussion of black filmmaking problems. "In five years
Africa will be a very big cultural influence. We want Africa to be
responsible, not sheep, not mimicking what they are told. Culture gives
dignity. Movie gives man ability to be himself. We speak about politics.
We are doctors of men's thoughts."

Further, "Western civilization is oppressive." Half of all American films
shown to Senegal's five million people are dubbed in French. Egyptian and
Indian films also popular because of the music and dance elements. The
"African" films that Americans know, like "Tarzan" and "Mogambo", are
considered insulting to Africans.

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