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Marie Augustine Diatta,
Mame Ndoumbé Diop
It is the dawn of Senegal's independence from France, but as the citizens celebrate in the streets we soon become aware that only the faces have changed. White money still controls the government. One official, Aboucader Beye, known by the title "El Hadji," takes advantage of some of that money to marry his third wife, to the sorrow and chagrin of his first two wives and the resentment of his nationalist daughter. But he discovers on his wedding night that he has been struck with a "xala," a curse of impotence. El Hadji goes to comic lengths to find the cause and remove the xala, resulting in a scathing satirical ending.Written by
Xala is set during Senegal's first days of independence from France, and is about a government official (Leye) who's using some dirty money to marry a third wife. When he attempts to consummate his new marriage to a beautiful-young woman, he finds himself unable to perform. His impotence is known locally as the 'Xala' curse. What ensues is an expertly crafted criticism and skewering of the Senegalese government and bourgeoisie as Leye goes to great lengths to find a cure. Told with comedic wit, Xala is a technically proficient film written by the director and based on his 1973 novel of the same name. The freeze-frame and graphic match from the finale is simply unforgettable. You can really feel the sweltering African heat in every frame. S
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