Guelwaar (1992)

In choosing "Gelwaar: An African Legend for the 21 st Century" for the opening of the 13th Pan-African Film Festival (in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, February 1993), the organizers of this event sought to honor Ousmane Semb6ne as the father of African cinema. "Gelwaar" is based on a true story: The body of Pierre Henri Thioune, alias Gelwaar and leader of a Christian community, is mistakenly delivered to Muslims who bury him in a Muslim cemetery following the teachings of Islam. When the mistake is found out, the Christians seek to recover "their" body. Semb6ne in this film develops familiar themes: real versus imaginary independence, women's emancipation, the brain. In French and Wolof with English sub-titles.115minutes. Color


Gold Medal at the Venice 49th Mostra

Critical Works

Morganti, Nike. Guelwaar, l'orgoglio dell'Africa. Nigrizia: Fatti e Problemi del Mondo Nero, (Oct 1993) 111 (10): 57-61.

N’gom, M’baré. “L’Oralité filmique comme plateforme narrative chez Ousmane Sembène: Guelwaar.” CLA Journal (Mar. 2003): 408-24.