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Slab Cinema Arthouse showcases groundbreaking filmmaker Ousmane Sembène on Sunday 

click to enlarge Ousmane Sembène's drama Mandabi is the first film of his career to be made in his native langauge of Wolof. - THE CRITERION COLLECTION
  • The Criterion Collection
  • Ousmane Sembène's drama Mandabi is the first film of his career to be made in his native langauge of Wolof.
Presented by Slab Cinema, the double feature from Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène makes a compelling package for movie lovers.

His 1966 drama Black Girl is believed to be the first film made by a Black African in sub-Saharan Africa. The film, which runs 65 minutes, follows a Black girl from Senegal who travels to France to become the governess of a wealthy family but is soon demoted to a maid.

The second film of the evening is the 1968 drama Mandabi. That film, which runs 92 minutes, is the first of Sembène’s career to be made in his native language of Wolof. Mandabi tells the story of a Senegalese family whose life is turned upside down when a relative from Paris sends them a money order that ends up causing problems between family members.

During an interview in 1998, Sembène was asked about being a provocateur. “I don’t like the word ‘provocation,’” he said. “I’m not taking the word away from you, but I don’t provoke! I have to find an expression of sound that will push people to talk and to think. I try to see things from their point of view. I can’t tell them what to see but I can offer a reflection.”

$10, 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, Arthouse at Blue Star, 134 Blue Star, (210) 212-9373,

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