Mandabi • 1h 32m
Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1968 • Senegal
Starring Makuredia Guey, Yunus Ndiaye, Isseu Niang
This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. One of Sembène’s most coruscatingly funny and indignant films, MANDABI—an adaptation of a novella by the director himself—is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty.
Up Next in Mandabi
Aboubakar Sanogo on MANDABI
Film and African studies scholar Aboubakar Sanogo is the founder of Carleton University’s World Cinema Forum and of the annual African Film Festival of Ottawa. In this introduction, recorded in October 2020, he discusses MANDABI in the context of director Ousmane Sembène’s political cinema.
Boubakar Boris Diop and Marie Angeliq...
In the following conversation, recorded in Dakar, Senegal, in October 2020, novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Boubacar Boris Diop and sociologist and feminist activist Marie Angélique Savané discuss the impact of MANDABI’s original release in Africa.