Oct 13th 2021

Ousmane Sembène, 1977, 120 min, 35mm

Few cultural figures can claim the influence of Ousmane Sembène, who revolutionized African film and literature in the twentieth century. CEDDO, perhaps his grandest cinematic work, utilizes fantasy, historical reconstruction, and orality to stage a powerful political allegory that explores the effects of colonialism in Senegal’s past and present. Set in an unnamed pre-colonial village in seventeenth-century West Africa, the film follows the conflict that arises when the King’s new Imam attempts to forcibly convert the ceddo (common people) to religious and political practices of Islam. Compressing centuries of historical events into a matter of days, CEDDO embodies the ongoing West African resistance against cultural incursion and colonial exploitation, pointedly emphasizing the salient role of women in the struggle. Presented in a rare 35mm print!

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/retelling-resistance-ceddo1977-theatrical-screening-tickets-174552951577


CEDDO screens as part of the “Retelling Resistance” series, which revisits early episodes in the struggle against colonial and cultural imperialism, from the first revolts against the Spanish administration in Cuba to the Haïtian Revolution.

For information on Block Cinema screenings visit https://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/cinema/index.html


Northwestern is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus pandemic and will follow local, state, and University guidelines for in-person events and museum visitation. All visitors must follow the Northwestern University COVID-19 Guidelines, which are in place at the time of visitation, including masking within the galleries and auditorium.

We plan for this program to be offered in person. Should public health or Northwestern campus guidelines evolve, we will contact guests about online presentation or cancelation.


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