Xala (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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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.

October 22, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
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.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

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

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

Smart, satirical sex comedy.

May 24, 2003 | Full Review…

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

May 2, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Xala


[font=Century Gothic]"Xala" starts with the European rulers being tossed out of Senegal, followed with them being welcomed back in by the new rulers, who are as corrupt as the old ones, with plenty of cash bribes. This is convenient for El Hadji(Thierno Leye), one of the ministers, who needs the money because he is soon getting married for the third time to a much younger woman, Ngone(Diaynaba Niang). His first two wives(Seun Samb & Younouss Seye) are mixed about welcoming another wife into the family but his daughter, Rama(Miriam Niamg), is rather angry at the whole situation. The wedding goes well until the night when he cannot consummate the marriage. And then the rooster takes one for the team...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Xala" is a critical movie that examines post-colonial Africa in a humorous fashion. Writer-director Ousmane Sembene is commenting that for Africans to be truly independent speaking their native language, it has to be for all of its citizens, especially its women and poor.(There is a decided class consciousness in the movie.) But after a rewarding beginning and middle, the movie eventually loses its way, as it gets as distracted as its protagonist with his impotence. And what an ending! [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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