Samba Gadjigo presents a unique personal portrait and intellectual history of novelist and filmmaker Ousmane Sembene. Though Sembene has persistently deflected attention away from his personality, his life, and his past, Gadjigo has had unprecedented access to the artist and his family. This book is the first comprehensive biography of Sembene and contributes a critical appraisal of his life and art in the context of the political and social influences on his work. Beginning with Sembene's life in Casamance, Senegal, and ending with his militant career as a dockworker in Marseilles, Gadjigo places Sembene into the context of African colonial and postcolonial culture and charts his achievements in film and literature. This landmark book reveals the inner workings of one of Africa's most distinguished and controversial figures.