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Film / Ceddo

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Senegalese film by Ousmane Sembène from 1977.At an undefined period, after the beginning of the transatlantic trade, but before the establishment of French administration, in a village in Western Africa, King Demba has converted to Islam. But the Ceddo villagers want nothing to do with it, and they have kidnapped the King's daughter, princess Dior Yacine...

The film was banned in Senegal until 1989, officially because of a spelling disagreement (the government insisted it should be written "Cedo"), unofficially to avoid fanning the flames of religious tensions in the country.


Ceddo contains examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: The costumes seem weirdly industrial for a 17th century West African Society, and let's not even talk about the priest, who wears a colonial cask and has a vision of 1970's Africa.
  • Corrupt Politician : the King's Counsel. Not for money, but for power.
  • Creator Cameo: Ousmane Sembene plays one of the Ceddos.
  • Made AS Lave: interlaps with Servant Race, as the King can sell all his subjects if he wants to, but especially the Ceddo
  • Religion of Evil: Islam, though the Catholic priest is not exactly a sympathetic character either.
  • Sinister Minister: The Moroccan imam, who forcefully converts the Ceddo, sells them into slavery, and wants to marry Princess Dior Yacine. Oddly enough, the Catholic priest does not really count, as he seems more dumb than evil.
  • Shout-Out: To classical theater, with action spanning 24 hours, a beautiful princess, conflicting passions for power, and most characters dying. The relation between Dior Yacine and her capto especially resembles Racine's works.


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