The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap his daughter, Princess Dior Yacine, to protest their forcible conversion to Islam.
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Yes, the champion of liberal causes in us all wants to root for the cinemas of minor African nations, and Senegal even has its own auteur, the great Sembene. What do those who see CEDDO's "brilliance" see? It's clumsy, obvious, full of tiresome speeches (lest one doesn't catch the movie's obvious Theme), and terrifically boring, lacking even that standard veteran Art Film-viewer's poor refuge, "visual interest." .
Originally banned in Senegal because it was seen as showing a very unflattering image of muslims, and also criticizing the government rule. Something you rarely see this aggressive. Set up like a court-room drama, this is an ambitious look at how religion can be used as a weapon to bring down a society. Encouraging people to rise up against their oppressors, and make a better life for themselves.
It has to be said that this is an extremely slow-moving film but if you manage to adjust to the rhythm and static looking cinematography, you'll see in the end that this is in fact a remarkable movie. Also, the soundtrack by Manu Dibango is great.