Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: (
About: Re: Ouedraogo vs. Sembene

Wed, 9 Oct 1996 12:57:07 -0400

Originally from: "Kenneth W Harrow" <>
Originally dated: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 12:57:07 -0400

If we are to cite favorites among filmmakers we might choose on the basis of
taste--that's what I did in praising *Yaaba*. I think it is fair to say that
no one has had a greater influence on the development of African film than
Sembene. I find the debate over Western traits usually a distraction. How
netters are aware of the influence of Pontocorvo on Maldoror, of Rouch on
Faye and Oumarou Ganda.
Lastly, Ouedraogo is certainly making social statements: when he
privileges the points of view, the "insights," of the marginalized over the
conventional, when he ignores outside influences on village culture, when he
highlights male chauvinism, he is advocating. Unlike Sembene, he is less
programmatic, less obviously ideological.
Sembene has wonderful qualities as a filmmaker, not least of which is
use of humor. Unfortunately the visibility of a simplified political message
often obscures the wonderful dimensions of buffoonery he is able to capture
(anyone remember a certain fishbone and belch in *Mandabi*?)
ken h

You may post a follow-up message or a new message. To send a reply directly to the author, you may click on the email address above.

If you would like to submit a message using your own mail program, send it to:

If you are following up this article, please include the following line at the beginning of your message:
In-Reply-To: 199610091657.MAA12334@dag.XC.Org