Ousmane Sembène

(1923 - 2007)

Conscripted into the French army in 1939, the Senegalese “father of African cinema” Ousmane Sembène later settled in Marseille, where he worked as a longshoreman and became involved in union organizing. He drew on these experiences for his first novel, Black Docker. “I am really unable to talk about my life,” he said in an interview two years before his death. “I don’t know my life. I’ve traveled a lot and this is the life that I have lived, but that doesn't mean that I know myself.”

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