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 ... See full summary »
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,
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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
So far in my life, I've only seen two Senegalese movies: "Hyenas" and "Xala". The latter offers a satirical look at corruption.
The plot goes like this: following Senegal's independence from France, a crooked official - he makes sure that France still controls the country's resources - uses the country's money to get married for the third time. That's when poetic justice kicks in; he gets stricken with a curse called "xala", rendering him impotent.
If absolutely nothing else, this movie is a very impressive look at a culture that we in the west rarely get to see (and specifically, we get to hear Wolof spoken). Are the events portrayed cause for cynicism? Hard to say. But I recommend the movie either way.
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