top of page

21 Classic African Movies You Need To Watch

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Are you exploring Africa and are you curious about films made by African film directors?

Whether you are a fan of African cinema or a novice in the field, here is a selection of some classic African movies to watch.

 Trou aux biches, Mauritius island ( île Maurice), East Africa
Trou aux biches, Mauritius island ( île Maurice), East Africa

We will begin with a film By Ousmane Sembène, one of the most celebrated filmmakers, having made the first-ever sub-Saharan feature film( La Noire de..) and is considered the father of African cinema.

La Noire ( Black Girl) by Ousmane Sembène

Year released: 1966

Djouna ((Mbissine Thérèse Diop) young woman from Dakar, Senegal, moved to Antibes in France to work for a wealthy French couple as a maid. However, as soon she arrived, she regrets her decision. She is mistreated by the couple and tries everything to escape. The film takes you on a metaphorical journey while tackling the effects of racism, colonialism in postcolonial Africa, and its relationship with France.

Did you know that the Senegalese film director Ousmane Sembène started off as a novelist? Check out! Sembene! a documentary about his life that is well worth a watch for any film fanatic.

Yaaba by Idrissa Ouedraogo

Year released: 1989

Yaaba means grandmother in the Mooré language of Burkina Faso. It is a name that shows respect to the elderly with full of wisdom.

The movie is centered on a young boy Bila and his cousin Nopoko who decided to befriend Sana, an older woman who has been ostracised by the community. It is a simple and beautiful movie with a message of tolerance.

Gito L'ingrat by Léonce Ngabo

Year released: 1993

It is the Story of Gito, a young man returning home after earning his law degree in Paris. He is presumptuous about his career in Burundi and finds himself in a love triangle