Presented as part of the Columbia Maison Française Tournées Film Festival. Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, 1955-1981, 89 min.
To RSVP and get a link to watch the film, click HERE.
Screening window begins: Sunday, March 14, 2021 12 pm EST.
Screening window ends: Sunday, March 21, 2021 11 pm EST.
This program of documentary shorts is both a stirring introduction to the Beninese/Senegalese filmmaker Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, considered the first sub-Saharan African film director and a rich overview of the period of African independence and nation-building. Vieyra’s 1955 essay film Africa on the Seine (co-directed with Mamadou Sarr) begins on the banks of the Niger but moves quickly to Paris, “the capital of Black Africa.” Combining street photography with a poetic voiceover, Vieyra achieves a remarkable portrait of the African diaspora and a forward-looking paean to racial diversity. As the title indicates, the 1961 short A Nation Was Born does nothing less than describe the history and birth of the modern African nation of Senegal. With tremendous economy of means, Vieyra depicts an idyllic pre-colonial land in West Africa, the traumatism of colonialism, and the optimism of the newly independent country. A documentary about the Senegalese national sport of wrestling, Lamb eloquently demonstrates that wrestling here is more than a sport, but a spectacle, a game, and a way of life. Lamb was the first film from Sub-Saharan Africa selected at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1964. L’Envers du décor (1980) is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes record of the shooting of the 1976 feature film Ceddo by Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène, and a crucial lesson in filmmaking and the perspective of the African artist.
There are only 500 virtual seats available. RSVP HERE and you will receive a link to watch the film online at a time of your choice between March 14 and March 21.
This film is presented as part of the Columbia Maison Française Tournées Film Festival. Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund and Florence Gould Foundation.
To watch the trailer, click HERE.
This event is co-sponsored by the Institute of African Studies and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.