Negritude: A Dialogue Between Wole Soyinka and Senghor 2015
Distributed by Third World Newsreel, 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550, New York, NY 10018; 212-947-9277
Produced by Manthia Diawara
DVD , color, 88 min.
High School - General Adult
African Diaspora, Francophone, Post-Colonialism, History
Date Entered: 07/10/2018Reviewed by Timothy W. Kneeland, History and Political Science Department, Nazareth College of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Negritude was a movement and system of thought developed by the Senegalese intellectual Senghor. As defined by Senghor, Negritude is “The black way of being in the world guided by intuition, wisdom, and feeling of oneness with one's visible and invisible surroundings.”
The film cleverly uses archival film footage of Senghor to explicate each aspect of Negritude. Clips of Senghor are then skillfully juxtaposed against an interview conducted with Senghor’s student, Wole Soyika, who critiques aspects of Negritude. More than just a series of talking heads, however, this film introduces viewers to the colonial and post-colonial context for Negritude and includes vintage photos and film clips from the 1940s through the 1970s.
The production is good and the film is edited well. Although the filmmaker kept it just under an hour, it includes very thoughtful expressions of African identity. Thus, anyone interested in African identity, the African diaspora, the differences between Anglophone colonialism and Francophone, will find this a very rewarding film.