Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene's films are savage, often satiric indictments of his country's and Africa's problems, but Sembene's greatness lies in how effortlessly his social concerns flow from his very human plots and stories. All this is evident in his 1992 "Guelwaar." The word is a Wolof sobriquet meaning 'Noble One,' and it is attached to Pierre Henri Thioune, whose death happens just prior to the film's opening. While Thioune was a staunch Catholic in a largely Islamic country, a combination of mordant misunderstandings has led to his being buried in a Muslim cemetery. The resulting chaos is a commentary on Senegalese mores that is comic, horrific and finally hopeful. Featuring Babacar Mdaye, left, and Aley Niang. (Cinemax Tuesday at 6 a.m.).
Other four-star films airing this week:
The Bank Dick / AMC, Monday at 3 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
Of Mice and Men / AMC, Tuesday, 4 a.m.
The 400 Blows / Bravo, Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, / AMC Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.
The Day the Earth Stood Still / ABC, Sunday, 1:30 a.m.