Sembene! is an animated documentary about the life of Senegalese filmmaker and author Ousmane Sembène, directed by Jason Silverman
This innovative documentary combines original and archival footage with animation to tell the story of the great Senegalese filmmaker/novelist Ousmane Sembène, who used storytelling as a means of political resistance and cultural renaissance. By dedicating his life to creating meaningful, fully African works, Sembene created a potent counter-narrative to the alienating stories presented by outsiders from Europe and the U.S.
If you are not famaliar with Ousmane Sembène, he may be one of the greatest African filmmaker and artist of all time. The ‘Father of African Film’ begun his career in the 1960’s where the film industry was entirely dominated by American and European films. Until his death in 2007, Sembène created beautiful African films that defied Western ideology and principles of storytelling using African languages, actors and stories. Sembène remains a prolific storyteller transforming how the world sees Africa.
The feature documentary SEMBENE! reveals the mechanics of the modern, corporate- or government-controlled media, the radical possibilities of storytelling. Most of all, SEMBENE! celebrates an artist who, better than any, embodies the need to reclaim our stories from outsiders. Through Sembène’s life and work, the film will explore the global political-social forces that have shaped the past century, using an innovative blend of animation, original footage, scenes from his films and never-before-seen archival photographs and film in a way that will inspire young African, African-American and African-European youth who still absorb stories from a media system that doesn’t represent them.