Exclusive Chicago Screening of Ousmane Sembene Documentary - 'Sembene!' - This Month
Photo Credit: S & A

Exclusive Chicago Screening of Ousmane Sembene Documentary - 'Sembene!' - This Month


The late Ousmane Semebene (1923-2007) was more than just a black director, or the father of African Cinema, as he is so often called. He also happens to be one of the greatest filmmakers in cinema history.

The Senegalese filmmaker – who, with a fifth grade education, as well as a past that also included working on the Marseilles docks, and as a union organizer – directed classic films like "Moolaade," "Camp de Thiaroye," "Black Girl," "Xala" (with still one of the most disturbing endings I’ve ever seen in a film), and many others, during a career that spanned over 40 years. He vibrantly explored and presented for the entire world, the complexities and diversity of the African continent.

But Sembene was, needless to say, a complex and driven man who was difficult to know and who would go as far as to sabotage other filmmakers’ projects, and even divert funds from other people’s films to his own projects, in the resolute belief that making films was the most important thing – by an means necessary.

A documentary about his fascinating life and career has long been overdue, and now filmmakers Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman (who were interviewed by Curtis John for S & A here and here) have met the challenge, and their acclaimed film about the filmmaker entitled "Sembene!" has been making its way across the U.S. since last fall, after premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It would also screen at the Cannes Film Festival. And later this month, the film makes its way to Chicago, screening on Friday, January 15 at 8:30PM, and again on Thursday January 21 at 7:45PM at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago. If you live in the area and have even the slightest interest in great cinema and in great filmmakers, then this is an opportunity you cannot pass up.

For more info go here. Below is the trailer:

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