Ousmane Sembène

Filmmaker (Senegal)

| Utne Reader September / October 2007

Sembène is best known for historical-political works with strong social commentary. In 1947 he took part in the Dakar-Niger railroad strike, which inspired his book God's Bits of Wood (1960). In 1948 Sembène returned to France, where he began to realize the greater potential of cinema for a largely illiterate mass audience, and then studied film in Moscow. His short film Borom Sarret (1963) is the cornerstone on which African cinema has been built.

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