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FrancoFun Film! Senegal

  • March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Free admission • Registration mandatory

  • On-site • 54 W. Chicago Ave.

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La Noire de… / Black Girl (1966, Ousmane Sembène, 59 min.)

Co-production Senegal/France

Criterion calls Ousmane Sembène “one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century.”

Join us and discover an African filmmaker who still deserves to be better known and a film that feels as timely today as it did half a century ago…

In La Noire de…/ Black Girl, Sembène’s brilliant and stirring feature debut from 1966, the filmmaker from Senegal transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world.

“Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.” – Criterion

As Westerners, we begin the movie thinking we’re watching Africans, but we realize that Africans like Sembene have been watching us, too, and know us far better than we know them.

– John Powers NPR Fresh Air

Other films by Ousmane Sembène:

The features Mandabi (1968) and Xala (1974) – both among Sembène’s various adaptations from his own literary work – are two of the director’s most unflinching satires of post-independence Senegal and a ruling class functioning as mere subcontractors for neocolonial powers.

Sembène’s communal approach to filmmaking is expressed differently in his films centred on entire communities deliberating on their predicaments, rather than the interior voices of individuals. This is the case in his period pieces Emitaï (1971), about the massacres of villagers and conscripts rebelling against colonial rule, and Camp de Thiaroye (1988), about racism perpetrated by the French army. It’s also true of his feminist film on genital mutilation, Moolaadé (2004).

–Chrystel Oloukoï

What is la Francophonie?

La Francophonie is a concept which was born of an understanding and appreciation of the fact that, owing to history, the French language is spoken by 300 million people across 5 continents. It is a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity, promoting democracy, human rights and peace. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) is the entity which embodies the values of la Francophonie, seeking to promote the French language, francophone culture, as well as developing economic cooperations among its 88 member states and governments.

The Alliance Française de Chicago shares this mission; as a French-speaking organisation, we seek to engage as many individuals as possible with the French language and cultures of francophone nations.

La Francophonie est née de la compréhension et de l’appréciation du fait que la langue française est parlée par 300 millions de personnes sur les 5 continents. C’est une célébration de la diversité linguistique et culturelle, qui fait la promotion de la démocratie, des droits de l’homme et de la paix.

L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) est l’entité qui incarne les valeurs de la Francophonie, cherchant à promouvoir la langue française, la culture francophone, ainsi qu’à développer les coopérations économiques entre ses 88 États et gouvernements membres.

L’Alliance française de Chicago partage cette mission ; en tant qu’organisation francophone, nous cherchons à faire participer le plus grand nombre possible de personnes à la langue française et aux cultures des nations francophones.

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