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35 Ratings


Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Germany, Senegal, 1992


Burial of a Christian political activist in a Muslim cemetary forces a conflict imbued with religious fervor. A satiric portrayal of religion and politics, sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious.

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Guelwaar Directed by Ousmane Sembène

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1992 | Winner: The President of the Italian Senate's Gold Medal

Critics reviews

The movie pivots on Guelwaar’s signal moment of courage and glory, a speech—one of the most fiercely eloquent in the recent cinema—that defies the authorities and seals his fate. Sembène looks with analytical passion and nuanced warmth at the uses and abuses of tradition, the wiles of endurance in the face of injustice, and the disproportionate share of trouble borne by women.
April 01, 2013
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It presents the most detailed and knowing treatment of tribalism I’ve seen in any film of the 90s, and it offers the most blistering attack on the ethics, administration, and effects of foreign aid I’ve ever seen. Both subjects are treated comically as well as tragically, and in so deftly spelling out their precise African and Senegalese inflections Sembene gives them universal significance as well.
April 22, 1994
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