Some of Ousmane Sembène’s notables movies. His full filmography can be seen here.
Faat Kiné tells the story of a single, independent mother of two, and successful businesswoman. She raises her two children alone after the fathers ran away from their responsibilities. She faces pressures from people around her who find it problematic for a woman, especially a mother like her to remain unmarried: even her children try to set up dates for her.
Xala is about a man of influence who decides to take a third wife. During the wedding night, he is unable to consume the marriage and decides to seek the aid of marabouts as he believes that he’s the victim of a curse to make him impotent (at first, he suspects his two wives). He also faces problems in his professional life and starts to lose his “wealth” . Xala is an image to criticize the uselessness of African leaders who look up to the former colonial powers even years after independences.
Guelwaar is a story of a man who opposes French colonialism and its remains, firmly believing that issues such as corruption faced by the people of Senegal come directly from their willingness to accept foreign aid. He dies one day and at the time of his funeral, his family finds out that his body has disappeared. They later find out that Guelwaar’s body was accidentally buried in a Muslim cemetery which causes troubles as Guelwaar was Catholic and they want his body to give him a proper burial.
Thiaroye Camp is based on the true story of the Thiaroye massacre during which soldiers and prisoners of war from francophone west and central Africa were killed by French officers after they asked for their compensations and complained about the discrimination they face. They served alongside the French army during the War of Liberation and the rights they were promised to them were later denied. It was censored in Senegal and was banned in France for several years.
La Noire de…tells the story of a Senegalese woman who moves to France to work as a maid for a family that exploits her. She works overtime, has to do everything her employers desire and is isolated. She becomes so desperate that one day she decides to pack her bags to escape but she “opts” for suicide, at the last time.
Moolaade depicts a village that becomes divided after a group of girls flee a female genital mutilation ceremony to seek refuge in the house of Collé Ardo, a woman who managed to save her own daughter from the practice. Collé efforts to protect young girls from mutilation and her overall stance against FGM pit her against the villagers.
Borom Sarret is a horse cart driver in Dakar. He expects to be paid for his services in order to support himself but he isn’t vocal about it and most people can’t afford to pay him anyway, as they are in the same situation.