Screening on Film
Directed by Ousmane Sembene.
With Thierno N’diaye, Ndiawar Diop, Myriam Niang.
Senegal, 1993, 35mm, color, 115 min.
Wolof and French with English subtitles.

Guelwaar revolves around the mysterious death and even more mysterious post-death disappearance of Pierre Henri Thioune (called “Guelwaar,” the Noble One), a political activist, philandering patriarch, and pillar of the local Christian community. To the horror of his fellow Christians, it is discovered that Guelwaar’s errant corpse was misidentified and mistakenly buried in a Muslim cemetery. This sets off a tempest of bureaucratic red tape, family conflicts, and religious factionalism that culminates in a tense standoff at the disputed grave site. As usual with Sembene, Guelwaar is many films in one: black comedy, political allegory, social satire, family drama, and, at the end, thunderous indictment of the twin evils of homegrown African corruption and neocolonial Western aid.

Part of film series

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Ousmane Sembene –
The Father

Other film series with this film

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Ousmane Sembene – In Memoriam

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Ousmane Sembène, Cinematic Revolutionary