Director: Clarence Delgado
Country: Senegal
Year: 1991
Running Time: 80 min.
Language: French and Wolof


Based on a novel by Ousmane Sembene, Niiwam recounts the travails of a young couple’s attempts to save the life of their infant son. Unable to find a cure in their village, Thierno and his wife take him to a city hospital, only to discover that the “blessings” of modern life have caused a degradation of even the most basic human relationships. The film avoids sentimentalizing, seeing its main characters as tragic examples of much larger social problems. As their struggles mount, Thierno takes a bus trip across the city only to be caught in a more desperate situation. Shot in black-and-white, the first time feature director does not let the simplicity of his story detract from its harrowing and immediate call for humanity.

About the Director

Clarence Delgado

DELGADO_ClarenceBiography: Clarence Delgado was born in Dakar, Senegal in 1953. After studying cinematography in Algeria and Portugal, he worked as the assistant to Ousmane Sembène, and most recently as assistant director on Guelwaar. Niiwam, his first feature film, won the prize for best first film at the 1992 African Film Festival in Milan.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Niiwam (1993, 2006).

Niiwam (1991).