Ousmane Sembene was born near Dakar, in a coastal fishing town. He is the father of Black African film through the contributions he has made to the industry. In addition, he deserves accreditation for his efforts in promotion and creation of African Cinema described as vital and authentic. Other contributions made by Sembene include the preservation and the reinterpretation of the social and cultural heritage depicted by his community. During his lifetime, he managed to produce several Black African cinemas such as Borom Sarett, L'Empire Sonhrai produced in 1963, Niaye produced in 1964, Black Girl in 1966 and The Money order which he produced in 1968. This paper explores the contributions to African Film making by Ousmane Sembene. In addition, the paper explores two of his works including Boron Sarett and Black Girl.
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Firstly, Ousmane's contribution to African Film making is notice in the movie "Boron Sarret". Considered as the pioneer of African Film making, Ousmane is outstanding in the production of his first movie as he chose on a plot which will appeal to many, at that particular time. His film, 'Borom Sarett' features about a Black African cart driver in Dakar. Ousmane professionally uses this cart driver to depict an issue which has affected many African states since independence. The problem depicted by the movie revolves around poverty situation in African.
Ousmane also contributes to African film making through his movie as he shows how pathetic the services are, in the African states. This depiction appears in the movie where he draws the cart to the cemetery and abandons the body because the owner of the body did not have the correct papers to allow him to take the body up to its final destination. This was a good scene as it acts as a wake up call to all persons in positions of service, to cater to others, as expected of them.
Ousmane also depicts inequality from his movie Boron Sarret. Arguably, this reflection appears in the scene where a man asks the cart driver to drop him to a wealthier neighborhood. This scene also reflects how colonization has not ended African problems. The policeman fining the cart driver also depicts inequality as an issue in African States.
'The Black Girl' movie by Ousmane also shows his contributions to African Film Making. Firstly, His translation of his short story into a film is a contribution to African filmmaking as it inspires other writers to emulate his skill. Secondly, he uses the movie to air the plight of African migrants who end up working in foreign countries. The woman acting as a governess for a French family clearly illustrates the plight of African migrants. Her duties shift from a governor to those of a maid after she moves from her native country to France. Life in France is also not easy for the woman, as she lives under threat and constant remainder of her race.
Another contribution of Ousmane to African Filmmaking is noticed where he depicts mistreatment by the use of the governess woman. This shows how the colonialist treated Africans at that period. In addition, the woman, made to remain silence through the isolation and despair she suffers which further illustrates the culture of colonialism.
In conclusion, Ousmane's contribution to African Filmmaking through these two movies is magnificent. He tried to fight colonialism indirectly through the themes he employed in his two films, which is an exemplary work by a pioneer African Film producer. Essentially, he depicts the plight of African States and indirectly criticizes colonialism by depicting how nothing significant has changed, since colonialism ended.