Emitai (1971)

"Emitai" is a historical film that functions also as a timeless allegory. In his clear, spare style, Semb6ne depicts the clash between French colonists and the Diola of Senegal in the closing days of World War II. It is the women who provide the first voice of resistance and the film conveys their social power as the retainers of ancient myths, rituals, and recent history. In Diola and French with English sub-titles. 16 mm. Color. 101 minutes.


Golden Bear Prize at the Moscow Film Festival.
First Afro-Asian Prize 1972 Tachken Festival (Soviet Union)

Critical Works

Dury, Helene. "Emitai de Sembene Ousmane." Lutte Ouvrière 14 May 1977: 20.

"Emitai." Variety 12 Aug. 1972: 28.

Ghali, Nouredidne. "Emitai, la vraie nature du colonialisme." Cinéma 76 n.208, April 1976: 94.

Iyam, David Uru. "The Silent Revolutionaries: Ousmane Sembene's Emitai, Xala and Ceddo." The African Studies Review vol.29 n.4 (1986): 79-87.

James, Emile. "Un nouveau film de Sembene Ousmane: Emitai." Jeune Afrique 4 Mai 1971: 52-55.

Jouvet, Pierre. "Emitai." Cinématographe n.27, May 1977: 40.

Peters, Jonathan. "Aesthetics and Ideology in African Film: Ousmane Sembene's Emitai." Ed.& Intro. Eileen, Julien; Ed. Mildred, Mortimer; Curtis, Schade. African Literature in Its Social and Political Dimensions. Washington D.C.: Three Continents P, 1986. 69-75.

Pfaff, Francoise. "Myths, Traditions, and Colonialism in Ousmane Sembene' Emitai." College Language Association Journal, vol. 24 n.3 (1981): 336-345.

Pouillaude, Jean-Louis. "Emitai." Positif n.195-196, July-Aug. 1977: 120-121.

Serceau, Daniel. "Emitai: L'échec d’une transposition dramatique." Cinémaction 34 (1985): 43-

Chevalier, Jacques. "Emitai, Dieu Du Tonnerre." La Revue du Cinéma, Image et Son n.320-321 Oct (1977): 97.

Cluny, Claude Michel. "Emitai de Sembene Ousmane." Cinéma 72 n.165, April 1972: 40-42.

Diack, Moktar. "Emitai or African Arisen." Young Cinema and Theater 4 (1972): 27-29.