A prosperous Muslim businessman has adopted many Western ways, but he perpetuates the tradition of polygamy by taking a beautiful young woman as his third wife. When a curse strikes him impotent and his economic fortunes begin to collapse, he seeks help from assorted witchdoctors.
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Senegalese Cinema! Some of the acting is a bit stiff, others are excellent, and the production value is minimal, but this is still a fine film. Heck, you try making anything at all in Senegal, it is a miracle they produce films, and very good ones, at that. XALA weaves every level of Senegalese society into its story, from the President, down to beggars and "undesirables". A must for fans of West African cinema.
Not sure what to think about this film. I was emerged into a various range of impressions and feelings during the screening - seems like a unique tale of post-colonial africa... where man is struggling with traditional values... the main character's little empire falls appart because of his selfishness. Shocking...
"The meaningful road to African cinema lies in a cinema that draws from the wealth of its cultural and aesthetic traditions. XALA marks and signals a turning point in the development of African cinema in that folk-narrative tradition and cinema acquire a measure of peaceful coexistence." - Teshome H. Gabriel, Jump Cut. While I preferred the book to the film, I have to agree there's a nice balance here.