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Safi Faye

Safi Faye is a Senegalese filmmaker and ethnologist and is considered one of the best-known filmmakers of sub-Saharan Africa. Born in Fad Jal, Senegal, a village south of Dakar, she met French filmmaker Jean Rouch in 1966 and played a role in his PETIT À PETIT (1969). Faye left Senegal to study ethnology at the University of Paris, earning her diploma in 1977 and a doctorate in 1979 and attending the Louis Lumière Film School before moving to Berlin to study video production. She made her first films in France, including REVANCHE (REVENGE, 1973) and acted in her second film, LA PASSANT (THE PASSERBY, 1972-75). KADDU BEYKAT (PEASANT LETTER, 1975), a feature-length film about Fad Jal, was the first ethnographic film she made in Senegal; it brought her international attention through film awards at the Festival International du Film d’Expression Française, the Festival Panafricain du Cinéma d’Ouagadougou, and the Berlin Film Festival. Faye returned to the subject of her native village in her subsequent documentaries FAD JAL (1979), which focuses on the history of life-cycle rituals in the village and GOOB NA NU (THE HARVEST IS IN, 1979), which examines the village’s agricultural issues. She currently lives and works in Europe and makes Paris her home. (07/09)

A film by Safi Faye, 1983, 30 min., Color

This revealing documentary offers a rare view of daily life in West Africa. Shot in Senegal, SELBE focuses on the social role and economic responsibil...

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