Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Death of a Film Maker

Ousmane Sembene died over the weekend at the age of 84. His films were extremely important to the African centric post-colonial movements; often the films will describe situations that only would happen in Africa because of the legacy of colonialism and refusal to address the crushing effects of poverty.

In my favorite Sembene film "Money Order" the viewer follow the story of the uncle of a boy living in France. The nephew sends his uncle a money order with his savings. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the uncle trying to cash this money order.

It was fascinating. Westerners take for granted the ease in which we do business. It is easy to forget the complexity of simple tasks that reach across cultural boundaries. It would be nice if we all gave lots of money to Africa, but what is the good if they can't cash the check? It is the little things that make the difference.

Sembene's perspective will be missed.

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