Xala (1975)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Impotence (Xala) is a Sengalese social comedy, filmed in the Wolof language. A rich, corrupt business executive marries for the third time for the express purpose of getting his name in the papers. After a disappointing wedding night, the businessman discovers that he's impotent. As he goes through a series of "cures" (including several tinged with witchcraft), his prestige in the communities dwindles along with his sense of manhood. Through Xala, director Ousmane Sembene attacks African neo-colonialism on an allegorical level. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Comedy
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Makhouredia Gueye
as Minister Kebe
Douta Seck
as Gorgui
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Critic Reviews for Xala

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

It's very much worth seeing.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The jokes and details are delightful, yet there's real anger behind them, and it bursts spectacularly into view in the concluding frames.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It is part fable and part satire, but it is much more.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Takes a cynical look at the bourgeoisie aping their former rulers.

Full Review… | June 4, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Smart, satirical sex comedy.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

A cutting morality tale that blames Senegal's sociopolitical downfall both on Euro-centricity and African auto-destruction.

Full Review… | May 2, 2001
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Xala

it's alright. i got nothing much to say besides it being a nice, straightforward allegory (sexual impotence = political impotence) and its low budget really shows through abysmal sound. it's on netflix and the white colored subtitles will drive you crazy

Lester Yabut
Lester Yabut

A very funny film about the corruptive influence of colonialism in Senegal. I can't recall ever seeing sexual impotence used as a device for political satire before, or at least not so well. What keeps this film from greatness is a slightly sluggish pace and occasionally amateurish production. It's strange because all the location work is shot quite competently, but whenever they're on set it just looks horrible.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

So this movie started of pretty good but it was very stretched out. The story was repetitive, long, and uneventful. The production value is low, but well done for its time and low budget. I know this film is considered a comedy, but I saw it as the complete opposite.

Dan Marino
Dan Marino

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