Ousmane Sembene (1923–2007)

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The first film director from an African country to achieve international recognition, Ousmane Sembene remains the major figure in the rise of an independent post-colonial African cinema. Sembene's roots were not, as might be expected, in the educated élite. After working as a mechanic and bricklayer, he joined the Free French forces in 1942, ... See full bio »


(age 84) in Dakar, Senegal

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22 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »


Known For

Moolaadé Writer
Black Girl Writer
Emitaï Writer


Hide Hide Show Show Writer (12 credits)
 2004 Moolaadé
 2001 Faat Kiné (dialogue) / (screenplay)
 1992 Guelwaar (writer)
 1988 Camp de Thiaroye (dialogue) / (screenplay)
 1977 Ceddo (written by)
 1975 Xala (novel) / (screenplay)
 1971 Emitaï
 1970 Tauw (Short) (written by)
 1968 Mandabi (written by - as Usman Semben)
 1966 Black Girl (based on a novella by) / (writer)
 1964 Niaye (Short) (adapted from the novel by - as Sembène Ousmane)
 1963 The Wagoner (Short) (writer)
Show Show Director (13 credits)
Show Show Actor (4 credits)
Show Show Producer (3 credits)
Show Show Music department (1 credit)
Show Show Self (6 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (6 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Novel: "God's Bits of Wood." See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Interview | 4 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Sembene Ousman | Sembène Ousman | Sembène Ousmane | Ousmane | Usman Semben | Ousmane Sembène

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

In the army we saw those who considered themselves our masters naked, in tears, some cowardly or ignorant. When a white soldier asked me to write a letter for him, it was a revelation - I thought all Europeans knew how to write. The war demystified the colonizer; the veil fell. See more »


Was the first African director to give the director's lesson at the Cannes International Film Festival. See more »

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