Best Movies by Farr
Xala Poster
Released Runtime Category
1975 123 Comedy
Director Language
Ousmane Sembene French, Wolof
Thierno Lege, Myriam Niang, Fatim Diagne


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What's it About

Prominent African businessman Beye (Lege) is connected to the newly formed government in Senegal, which is every bit as corrupt as the colonialist regime that preceded it. However, this self-satisfied fellow is about to receive his comeuppance. It appears he has overstepped himself by taking on his third polygamous marriage, which stirs things up considerably at home. When he becomes impotent on his wedding night, Beye searches desperately for a cure, and begins to lose control of his well-ordered life.

Why we love it

This overlooked African gem from director Sembene amusingly demonstrates that polygamy isn't all it's cracked up to be, as our hero quickly demonstrates he’'s really not up to having three wives. This more comic vein of “"Xala"” (which means “impotence”) leavens a much more pointed political message about a supposedly socialist, all-black government whose leaders indulge in the same kind of greed as their white, colonialist predecessors. The funny, offbeat "“Xala"” is well worth seeing, even if you only have one wife.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"