AI: African Intelligence

Manthia Diawara’s latest essay film, AI: African Intelligence, explores the contact zones between African rituals of possession within traditional fishing villages of the Atlantic coast of Senegal and the emergence of new technological frontiers known as Artificial Intelligence. Considering the confluence of tradition and modernity, Diawara questions how we could move from disembodied machines towards a more humane and spiritual control of algorithms. Could Africa be the context of emergence for such improbable algorithms?
by Manthia Diawara
with Mère-Bi (Marymata Seck), Diyé Dia, Raoul Frese, Makhou Lebougui, Jean-Paul Colleyn, Hadja Dramé, Marieme Seck, Oulimata Ndoye, Awa Diop, Mamadou Diouf
Portugal / Senegal / Belgium 2022 Wolof, English, French 110’ Colour International premiere


  • Mère-Bi (Marymata Seck)
  • Diyé Dia
  • Raoul Frese
  • Makhou Lebougui
  • Jean-Paul Colleyn
  • Hadja Dramé
  • Marieme Seck
  • Oulimata Ndoye
  • Awa Diop
  • Mamadou Diouf


Director Manthia Diawara
Cinematography James Newitt
Editing Mohamed Al Mubarak
Sound Bernardo Theriaga
Assistant Director Daman Diawara
Production Manager Carlos Alberto Carrilho
Producer Jürgen Bock

Produced by

Manthia Diawara

Manthia Diawara is a writer and filmmaker. He is a distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Film at New York University. Diawara’s notable films include: A Letter from Yene (2022), An Opera of the World (2017), Negritude: A Dialogue between Soyinka and Senghor (2016), and Édouard Glissant, One World in Relation (2010). His films have been presented at festivals, biennials, and a wide range of exhibition venues, including the 34th Bienal de São Paulo; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; documenta 14, Kassel; Museu de Serralves, Porto; and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.


1994 Sembène: The Making of African Cinema; with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, 60 min. 1995 Rouch in Reverse; 52 min. 1997 In Search of Africa; 26 min. 2000 Diaspora Conversations: From Gorée to Dogon; 47 min. 2002 Bamako Sigi-Kan; 76 min. 2003 Conakry Kas; 82 min. 2007 Who's Afraid of Ngugi?; 83 min. 2008 Maison Tropicale; 58 min. 2010 Édouard Glissant: One World in Relation; 50 min. 2015 Negritude, a Dialogue between Soyinka and Senghor; 59 min. 2017 An Opera of the World; 70 min. 2022 A Letter from Yene; 50 min. · AI: African Intelligence

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023