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Ceddo
(AKA The Outsiders)

Screening on Film
Directed by Ousmane Sembene.
With Tabara N’diaye, Ismaila Diagne, Moustapha Yade.
Senegal, 1977, 35mm, color, 120 min.
Wolof with English subtitles.

Banned in Senegal on an absurd technicality, Ceddo, Sembene’s most ambitious film, uses the story of a beautiful princess’s kidnapping to examine the confrontation between opposing cultural forces: Muslim expansion, Christianity, and the slave trade. The “Ceddo”—or feudal class of common people—cling desperately to their customs and their fetishistic religion amidst the impending changes. Nominally set in the nineteenth century, Ceddo ranges far and wide to include philosophy, fantasy, militant politics, and a couple of electrifying leaps across the centuries to evoke the whole of the African experience.

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