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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mandabi (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order. He deals with corruption, greed, problematic family members, the locals and the changing from... See full summary »

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Makhouredia Gueye, Ynousse N'Diaye, Isseu Niang
Brightness (1987)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Director: Souleymane Cissé
Stars: Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo
Black Girl (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A black girl from Senegal becomes a servant in France.

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In this semi-autobiographical film, black soldiers help to defend France, but are detained in prison camp before being repatriated home.

Directors: Ousmane Sembene, Thierno Faty Sow
Stars: Sidiki Bakaba, Hamed Camara, Philippe Chamelat
Ceddo (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap ... See full summary »

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne
Touki Bouki (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mory, a cowherd, and Anta, a university student, try to make money in order to go to Paris and leave their boring past behind.

Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Stars: Magaye Niang, Mareme Niang, Aminata Fall
Moolaadé (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré
Emitaï (1971)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As World War II is going on in Europe, a conflict arises between the French and the Diola-speaking tribe of Africa, prompting the village women to organize their men to sit beneath a tree to pray.

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Andongo Diabon, Robert Fontaine, Michel Renaudeau
Guelwaar (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Burial of a Christian political activist in a Muslim cemetary forces a conflict imbued with religious fervor. A satiric portrayal of religion and politics, sometimes humorous, sometimes ... See full summary »

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Abou Camara, Marie Augustine Diatta, Mame Ndoumbé Diop
Hyenas (1992)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Stars: Ami Diakhate, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Mansour Diouf
Faat Kiné (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A forty-year-old woman refuses to give into the stigma of unwed motherhood and climbs the ladder of success in a male dominated field.

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Venus Seye, Mame Ndoumbé, Ndiagne Dia
Borom sarret (1963)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Boron Sarret is arguably the first film made by a black African. It illustrates poverty in Senegal, particularly for the working man

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Ly Abdoulay, Albourah
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thierno Leye ...
El Hadji Aboucader Beye
Myriam Niang ...
Rama, El Hadji's daughter (as Miriam Niang)
Seune Samb ...
Adja Assatu, El Hadji's first wife
Fatim Diagne ...
El Hadji's secretary
Younouss Seye ...
Oumi, El Hadji's second Wife
Mustapha Ture ...
The Client (as Moustapha Touré)
Iliamane Sagna ...
Modu, El Hadji's chauffeur
Dieynaba Niang ...
La Badiene
Langouste Drobe
Farba Sarr ...
Businessman
Abdoulaye Boye
Papa Diop
Martin Sow
Mamadou Sarr ...
Businessman
Makhouredia Gueye ...
Minister Kebe
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1977 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Impotence  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Xala translates as "The Curse". See more »

Quotes

Minister Kebe: The potion must have been excellent! You haven't changed cloths yet.
Hadji Aboucader Beye: I couldn't get it up... nothing happened!
Minister Kebe: What?
Hadji Aboucader Beye: I couldn't get an erection. My mother-in-law says I have the Xala.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The "Curse"...
11 June 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Seen any decent Senegalese films recently? Ones from 1974, with French subtitles? If you haven't stopped reading already, then...Xala means "Curse of impotence", which gets placed on a corrupt businessman, when he passes over his older wives for a "new" virgin one.

Though it looks very 1970's, with rather tepid colour and and a somewhat tinny sound, this very good film from Ousmane Sembene is as good as contemporary cinema gets in home-grown Africa. My viewing was for the 2nd time on Film 4, admittedly screened in the small hours.

It's actually an excellent snapshot of many an African country coming to terms with their new-found independence. Native rituals and traditions still run deep, against the new found idealism of political freedom. But, mega corruption amongst Ministers and Officials is rife and the script has savage satire running through it, that could be applicable anywhere. Whilst they bemoan and decry their now departed Colonial forebears, they have become addicted to their Mercedes limos and material excesses and readily abuse their power at will.

Some describe Xala as a sex comedy - comedy is going a bit far but there is pleasure indeed to be found in strong-charactered women, beacons for the future brow-beating their men-folk and the then rather pathetic reactions from them. Take away a powerful man's effectiveness of his penis and he is no longer powerful. That is a broad and slightly inaccurate metaphor, of course, but you can see where this is going.

Xala is pretty long and requires some staying-power but is embellished with some good music and performances. The story overall is a surprisingly universal and approachable one.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?