A Nation is Born / Une nation est née


by Paulin Soumanou Vieyra


Senegal / 1961 / 19mins / Documentary / Wolof and French

In 1958, Vieyra set up a special office dedicated to film in Senegal, which, after the independence (1960), became the base of the country’s cinematography. A Nation is Born is a historical portrait of Vieyra’s homeland showing scenes from pre-colonial traditions, represented mainly by dance, to the exploitative European domination, to the new beginning represented by the celebration of the republic.


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About the Director

Paulin Soumanou Vieyra

Paulin Soumanou Vieyra was born in Porto-Novo, Benin in January of 1925, but grew up in Senegal. He was a director, writer, critic and historian of African cinema. His film Afrique sur Seine, co-directed by aspiring filmmakers Jacques Melo Kane and Mamadou Sarr and shot by Robert Caristan, is credited as being one of the first francophone African films to ever be released. This quartet became known as "The African Cinema Group." Vieyra was a founding member of film institutions including The Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) and the Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO). Vieyra was the mentor of great figures of the seventh art, such as Ousmane Sembène, Djibril Diop Mambéty, and Ababacar Samb-Makharam. He passed away in November of 1987 at the age of 62. Learn More