“Sembène depicts a corrupt system that replaced white dictators and profiteers with black ones; the symbolic ending, a glimmer of revolutionary hope, is as gratifying as it is implausible.” - Richard Brody, New Yorker

“It's very much worth seeing.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. | On the night of his wedding to a third bride, a government official is rendered impotent. After suspecting that one of his other wives has placed a curse (xala) on him, and after enlisting a local marabout for a cure, he must face the possibility that he deserves the infliction for his part in the embezzlement of public funds and for helping to keep Senegal in French hands. Combining elements from African folklore and popular cinema, XALA indicts the immoral hubris of entitled male authority figures and Senegalese sellouts.

Awards & Nominations

Winner - Special Prize of the Jury, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Nominee - Golden Prize, Moscow International Film Festival

Ousmane Sembène CentennialWe celebrate the centennial of Ousmane Sembène, one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, and the most internationally renowned African director of the twentieth century with a selection of some of his most acclaimed work. View full series.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu