It is the dawn of Senegal's independence from France, but as the citizens celebrate in the streets we soon become aware that only the faces have changed. White money still controls the ...
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Marie Augustine Diatta,
Mame Ndoumbé Diop
A once-prosperous Senegalese village has been falling further into poverty year by year until the village's elders are reduced to selling town possessions to pay debts. Linguère, a former ... See full summary »
Djibril Diop Mambéty
Djibril Diop Mambéty,
It is the dawn of Senegal's independence from France, but as the citizens celebrate in the streets we soon become aware that only the faces have changed. White money still controls the government. One official, Aboucader Beye, known by the title "El Hadji," takes advantage of some of that money to marry his third wife, to the sorrow and chagrin of his first two wives and the resentment of his nationalist daughter. But he discovers on his wedding night that he has been struck with a "xala," a curse of impotence. El Hadji goes to comic lengths to find the cause and remove the xala, resulting in a scathing satirical ending. Written by
Sembene was once again the failing of government in Senegal and even most of Africa. This time after native Africans come to power.
The juxtaposition of regular, hard-working, citizens with the spoiled, corrupt, and prejudice (to their own citizens) government officials packs a heavy message. And unlike most, Sembene simply does not photograph the regular citizens for the simple juxtaposition, he keeps on them, showing you their true problems, and showing you their sacrifice.
All the while, hilarity ensues the corrupt government officials as hijinks after hijinks. The biggest problem being El Hadji's Xala ... he can't get it up for his young third wife.
Truly an interesting, intelligent, and worthwhile cinematic experience. And even if that doesn't seem to to interest you, watch it for the laughter ... there's plenty of it.
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