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Biography of Safi FAYE

Senegal > Arts : Safi FAYE

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Born on 22/11/1943 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Safi Faye (b. November 22, 1943) , is a Senegalese director and ethnologist who has made her home in Paris, is the best-known woman filmmaker in sub-Saharan Africa.

Safi Faye (born 1943), the Senegalese filmmaker and ethnologist who has made her home in Paris, is the best-known woman filmmaker in sub-Saharan Africa. Safi Faye was born in 1943 in Fad Jal, Senegal, a village south of Dakar, where she made the ethnographic films that brought her international acclaim. Faye's documentary films on Senegal were related to her training as an ethnologist. She was interested in showing the real problems of people's daily lives from their perspective, an advantage she had as a member of the society she filmed. Safi Faye is acknowledged as one of the most accomplished women filmmakers in sub-Saharan Africa. However, because she has lived and worked in Europe, far more Europeans have seen her films than have Senegalese and other Africans.

2.) Faye made her first films in France. Revanche (Revenge; 1973), made collectively with other students in Paris, is about a madman who wants to climb the Pont Neuf, a bridge in Paris. She acted in her second film, La Passante (The Passerby; 1972-1975), about an African woman in France, which reflects in part the solitude she felt in Paris at that time. This film has a soundtrack of music and poetry, but no dialogue.
Kaddu Beykat (Peasant Letter; 1975), the first ethnographic film Faye made in Senegal, brought her international attention through film awards at FIFEF (Festival International du Film d'Expression Française), FESPACO (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma d'Ouagadougou), and the Berlin Film Festival and through receipt of the Georges Sadoul Prize in France. It remains her most widely reviewed and analyzed film.
After 1980 Faye's documentary and feature films were on diverse topics and had diverse sponsorship. For example, the United Nations produced Les ames au soleil (Souls Under the Sun; 1980) about the difficult lives of women and children in rural Senegal, with a focus on health and education, while UNICEF sponsored Selbe et tant d'autres (One and So Many Others; 1982) about the daily life of a Senegalese village woman whose husband has gone to work in town.

Last update : 03/06/2008

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