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In Emitaï, the "Father of African Cinema" Ousmane Sembène presents a forgotten chapter in World War II history. Senegal is a French colony, and as such, the French habitually press-ganged natives into its army, and raided villages for food. One village dares resist, hides its crops, and suffers for it. An interesting dichotomy develops. While the men argue with their gods - now impotent gods effectively displaced by the new French gods Pétain and DeGaulle - the women are conducting an act of passive resistance that puts them on the front line. Though we head inexorably for tragedy, Sembène still finds moments of humor in the absurdity of Senegal being ruled by remote white men, and a culture that is alien to its own. And then doesn't dwell on the tragedy. This is no horror show full of pain and martyrdom. It's a picture of defiance and resistance; that it ultimately fails isn't the point. Emitaï is also gorgeous to look at, vibrant and lush, and that one scene in the army office is comparatively drab in a way that seems quite on purpose.
Subs ARE however available.
no subs for Wolof language parts, but French is perfectly understandable (for those who speak French)
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #8 in Guide to African Cinema
This movie ranks #165 in Amos Vogel's Film as a Subversive Art