Professor Diagne will be the guest speaker at a screening of two landmark Senegalese films: Ousmane Sembène’s Borom Sarret (1963) and Djibril Diop Mambéty’s La Petite Vendeuse de soleil (1999), followed by a Q&A with Professor Eric Prieto.
The first film directed by Senegal’s greatest filmmaker, Ousmane Sembène, Borom Sarret tells the story of a cart-driver who goes to Dakar to make a living, but out of sympathy with other poverty-stricken people, works for free and goes hungry himself. The genesis of Black African cinema can be traced to this short, stark masterpiece in Wolof and French, which conveys the toll of natural loss, poverty, and the stain of European colonization on Africa.
La Petite Vendeuse de soleil
“The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun” is a short drama film directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegal’s avant-garde filmmaker. The film, which premiered posthumously after his untimely death in 1998, depicts a young beggar girl, Sili, who becomes the first girl to sell a daily newspaper in the competitive world of young male newspaper vendors. Mambéty dedicated this last film to “the courage of street children” and featured actual street children instead of professional actors.
Souleymane Bachir Diagne is a professor at Columbia University in the departments of French and Philosophy, and currently the Director of the Institute of African Studies.
Sponsored by the Graduate Center for Literary Research