Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Letters from Africa

Ceddo (1977), a film by Ousmane Sembène

Ceddo-princess     Ceddo

Ceddo is not a tribe, it is a state of mind” - Ousmane Sembène

The following is excerpted from Michael Dembrow's excellent article on the film:

Sembène wants us to look at the past only to the extent that this will help us to analyze the present... The stylized action, the often incongruous music, are part of his attempt to distance us a bit from the story’s illusions.  

He has insisted that his is not an anti-Islam film, or an anti-Catholic one for that matter.  He wants us to look clearly at the acts that were done in the name of Islam, in the name of Christianity, but were really all about power and selfishness and greed.  He also feels that we cannot understand the present if we do not understand the complicity of Africans in the slave trade.  The film shows clearly some of the mechanisms of slavery, how and why Africans (including ceddo with whom we sympathize) are willing to sell their brothers, their sisters, and their children. How else can we understand the situation in Africa today?

Full article at:

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