Ceddo – Movie Review (2018 FIFA World Cup™ Special Series)

Group H

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Info

Country: Senegal
Original Title: Ceddo
Director: Ousmane Sembene
Release: 1977
Genre: Drama
IMDb | Rotten Tomatoes

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World Cup Historic

This review should have come before Colombia, but I had a lot of images saved on my iPad, but I had to send the poor gadget to fix its fucked up screen. Now with the renewed iPad, I can use the saved images to publish this review.

PUMA 2018-2019 Senegal Home Football Shirt

Senegal, like many other nations in this special series, was invaded and colonized by France. However, in 1960, they declared independence and in the same year, they founded the Senegalese Football Association.

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Senegal’s Sadio Mané

The first international game as an independent country happened in 1961, against Dahomey, today Benin. The Senegalese lost the match, 2-3.

As a young national team, Senegal only qualified for one World Cup before. The 2002 World Cup got the debutant Senegal reaching the Quarter-Finals.

They began eliminating France and Uruguay in the group stage, winning against France and then drawing against Denmark and Uruguay, 1-1 and 3-3 respectively.

In the Round of 16, Senegal faced Sweden and after 1-1 on regular time, they won with a Golden Goal from Henri Camara.

In the Quarter-Finals against Turkey, they were victims of the Golden Goal from İlhan Mansız, finishing their amazing run.

After 16 years, Senegal has qualified again, and after a solid win against Poland, they can dream with the Knockout phase once again..

Prelude

After the Christian and Muslim “invasion”, the Ceddo kidnaps Princess Dior, to persuade the King to leave them alone keeping their African traditions and free of slavery.

According to the CIA’s “The World Factbook”, Senegal has a population of Muslim majority, with 96.1% of its population adhering to this faith. Christianity represents 3.6% of the population, leaving only 0.3% for other faiths.

Christianity and Islamism is the chosen religion of more than half of the world’s population, with 31.4% Christians and 23.2% Muslims. The meaning, basically, is that all the other religions and the people with no religious believes together, represent 45.4% of the global population (Source).

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The problem I have is not with religion itself, but with how these religions expanded. For example, we already mentioned the practice of burning people at the stake in the “Seventh Seal” review, in other words, “if you have a different faith, die slow”.

Christians systematically absorbed other religious traditions with the objective of banning them to oblivion. With the same objective, they turned others into demons and Devil worshipers, oppressing them to oblivion.

When Christianity got its way into Nordic countries, it began destroying all the Nordic tradition until its almost complete obliteration.

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Illustration of the Uppsala Temple, dedicated to the Old Norse Gods.

There are many other examples of this oppressive practice through the world’s history, and the same happened with the Islamic religion in different countries, we don’t need to look further than the Terrorist “state” actions in the recent past.

Important to say that I am not against any form of faith, but I’m completely against any form of oppression of people’s liberties, like enforcing religion or enforcing no-religion. We should be free to believe in anything we want, as far as we are not doing any harm to others.

The Senegalese film presents a story of the same sort, the Christian and the Muslim enslaving the people and forcing them into conversion, causing a political and social uproar.

Ceddo

Ousmane Sembene directed and made a cameo in the movie that doesn’t have characters as the main focus, all of them being a tool to make the plot go forward or to represent something.

Christians and Muslims are lurking in the region while the common people are sold to slavery. King Demba War (Matoura Dia) converts to Islam and decide law must enforce Islam and everyone shall convert.

The Ceddo, the common people, tired of being slaved and deprived of their own traditions, decide that’s enough and kidnap Demba War’s daughter, Princess Dior Yacine (Tabata Ndiaye).

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Princess Dior Yacine (Tabata Ndiaye)

Diogomay (Ousmane Camara), a Ceddo representative, demands the end of slavery, persecution and the abolition of Islam as an obligation, if the King grants this demands, the Princess shall be freed.

Most of the movie is in Wolof language, and the way they talk during the gathering is very interesting, full of parables and addressing to an intermediary when talking to the people of higher class.

Obviously, Ceddo was not without polemic, being banned in Senegal. The official reason gave to the banning was the writing of “Ceddo” with two “d’s”, considered incorrect by the Senegalese officials.

Madir Fatim Fall Moustapha Yade Ceddo
Madir Fatim Fall (Moustapha Yade)

Fortunately, the world is not made only by official communications. The unofficial, and most probable, reason for the banning was the criticism of Islam.

Controversy aside, the movie was effective and competent in its making, because it’s an entertaining movie that conveys an important social commentary still relevant today and for more than one country.

I won’t comment in the visual aspect of the film, because I got a not-so-good copy, so I can’t really say if the movie has a bad quality of image or it’s just the copy I watched.

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Ceddo gathering, led by Diogomay (Ousmane Camara)

I guess the setting and costumes were amazing, but I can’t be 100% sure of it.

I really enjoyed the story and was entertained through the whole 1 hour and 51 minutes, it’s not the shortest, but it still flows smoothly. That’s something important to me, especially after some boring movies like “Jeanne Dielman”, “You Carry Me” and “Spring…”.

Some of the actings are not that great and it’s understandable because, on IMDb, it seems like most the actor weren’t experienced actors, having only one or two titles (including Ceddo) in the resume.

However, some of the actors are really bad, having even a death similar to the worst death scene ever, from Samurai Cop. At least it’s funny, unintentionally funny, but still funny.

There is good acting as well, especially from Moustapha Yade, with the character Fall. He is also one of the most interesting characters in the movie, but unfortunately, we don’t get much of a closure for this character.

The bad acting didn’t turn me off, though and I liked the movie almost as much as I liked “Dirty Hands” and will give it the same rate of 8 Moons. The only reason it’s not a tie or “Ceddo” even better is the acting.

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Author: Marlon Santos

Random guy who loves movies and series, among other things.

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