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Dir. Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman
86 min

Lumières Françaises • Images of Africa


In 1952, Ousmane Sembène, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. Sembene! tells the unbelievable true story of the father of African cinema, the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to return African stories to Africans. Sembene! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, Sembene! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions. After a startling fall from grace, can Sembène reinvent himself once more?

This work is funded in part by MHC with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Film Details

Programs: Images of Africa, Lumières Françaises
Release Year: 2015
Runtime: 86 min
Country/Region: Senegal, USA
Language: French, English, Wolof
Print Source: Kino Lorber
Tags: Africa & African Diaspora, Documentary, Film/Media/TV, Francophone


Director: Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman
Executive Producer: Dan Cogan, William T. Conway, Andy Pinkes, Joaquim Duarte Gomes
Editor: Ricardo Acosta
Composer: Ken Myhr
Principal Cast: Ousmane Sembène


Sponsor for Sembene!
Sponsored by: 2008.


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