Close Up

16 - 25 August 2017: Xala


Ousmane Sembène
1974 | 123 min | Colour | 35mm

“Zeroing in on the myth of African independence and on the capitulation to white colonial policies by newly empowered black African leaders, this savage and funny satire deals with a self-satisfied, half-Westernized black businessman who is suddenly struck down by the xala: a curse that renders its victim impotent. While he desperately chases after witch doctors and soothsayers in search of a cure, the character’s condition becomes a mirror of the impotence of young African nations that are over-dependent on white technology and bureaucratic structures.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Ousmane Sembène