Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1971
AuthorsSembene, Ousmane
Running Time103 min
Date Released1974/01/10/
Distributor Filmi Domirev, Ministère de la Coopération
CountrySenegal, France
Publication LanguageFrench, Dyula, Wolof

As World War II is going on in Europe, a conflict arises between Vichy France (1940-44), governed by Marshall Petain, who collaborated with Nazi Germany, and a Diola-speaking tribe in the French West African colony. A French press gangs come to a small Diola village and takes away the male youths to fight for Vichy France in the Second World War, like many other forced colonial soldiers. When the French soldiers come back for fifty tons of rice, the women hide the rice crop harvest instead of submitting to the French  tax. The male villagers start a battle, armed with spears,  against soldiers armed with rifles. The surviving men retreat to their sacred space and debate the gods and action. In the meantime  women are rounded up and made to sit in the sun. The resistance  of the villagers unfolds  simultaneous to the resistance fighting in metropolitan France against Nazi Germany. When the Paris and France  are liberated, the Diola villagers see portraits of Charles de Gaulle, which replace the old ones with Marshall Petain, but otherwise the circumstances of the village remain unchanged. The movie won awards at the Berlin and Moscow film festivals and was banned by the French because of its "disrespectful view" of French colonial authoritie and could not be seen in France and the Senegal.


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