Film Screening: The Films of Paulin Soumanou Vieyra (Benin/Senegal)

September 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
4070 Vilas Hall

The Cinematheque represents UW-Madison academic departments and student film groups and is dedicated to showcasing the best in international cinema history and fine films which would otherwise never reach Madison screens. This coming Saturday, they will be showing the works of famous African director Paulin Soumanou Vieyra (Benin/Senegal).

Long overshadowed by those he mentored, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra is one of the godfathers of African cinema. Born in Benin, Vieyra was the first black African to direct a film, Afrique-sur-Seine (1955), an inquisitive and yearning documentary about young Africans studying in Paris. After settling in Senegal, Vieyra taught and frequently collaborated with leading directors like Ousmane Sembène. Vieyra’s vocation as a historian of African cinema and culture motivated his own illuminating short documentaries.This special program presents four rarely seen films by Vieyra: Afrique-sur-SeineLamb (1964), a thrilling look at beachside Senegalese wrestling; Birago Diop (1981), about the famous poet; and L’envers Du Decor (1981), an essay film produced behind the scenes of Sembène’s Ceddo (1977). These screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Stéphane Vieyra, Paulin’s son. Support for this program has been provided by Cultural Services of the French embassy in the United States. Special thanks to Laurence Geannopulos.

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