Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016
Location: Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Directors: Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman
Details: 2015, 82 min, Color
Co-presented with the Harvard Visual and Environmental Studies Department, the Harvard Film Study Center, and the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership’s Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Director Jason Silverman, Visiting Harvard VES Professor and emeritus Director of the New York Film Festival Richard Peña, and Senior Lecturer in African Film at SOAS Lindiwe Dovey. After the discussion, please join us for a wine and cheese reception in the Carpenter Center lobby.
Synopsis: In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE!, a feature-length HD documentary, tells the unbelievable true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions. After a startling fall from grace, can Sembéne reinvent himself once more?