Bearing talent equal to the totemic filmmakers of his time hasn’t, all these decades hence, helped Ousmane Sembène achieve their cultural, academic, cinephilic stature. The perpetual marginalization of African cinema sure doesn’t help, this shame best exemplified by how few restorations the entire continent’s received––a blight Janus Films look to correct with their centennial retrospective boasting the canonical Black Girl, three new restorations (Emitaï, Xala, and Ceddo), as well as Guelwaar and Mandabi.

Ahead of a complete series playing Film Forum from September 8 to the 21st, Janus’ trailer shows Sembène’s cinema for its brilliant colorful, musical tones, and political fury. Having seen these films via MKV files ripped from old DVDs––you’re correct for surmising it was less-than-ideal––these 100 seconds mark a minor revelation. It’s more than Sembène being essential in any condition––anybody seeing these films just now is also supremely lucky.

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