Mandabi

Shot primarily in Wolof, this second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first ever made in an African language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for the inhabitants of his home continent. 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 his attempts to cash the order are stymied in a maze of bureaucratic obstacles, 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.

Film Info

  • Senegal
  • 1968
  • 91 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • French, Wolof
  • Spine #1065

Special Features

  • New 4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by film scholar Aboubakar Sanogo
  • New conversation with author and screenwriter Boubacar Boris Diop and sociologist and feminist activist Marie Angélique Savané
  • Praise Song, a new program about director Ousmane Sembène featuring outtakes from the 2015 documentary Sembène! of interviews with author and activist Angela Davis, musician Youssou N’Dour, filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and many others
  • Tauw, a 1970 short film by Sembène
  • New English subtitle translation by Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and scholar Tiana Reid, excerpts from a 1969 interview with Sembène, and a new edition of Sembène’s 1966 novella The Money Order, on which the film is based

    New cover by Ify Chiejina

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by film scholar Aboubakar Sanogo
  • New conversation with author and screenwriter Boubacar Boris Diop and sociologist and feminist activist Marie Angélique Savané
  • Praise Song, a new program about director Ousmane Sembène featuring outtakes from the 2015 documentary Sembène! of interviews with author and activist Angela Davis, musician Youssou N’Dour, filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and many others
  • Tauw, a 1970 short film by Sembène
  • New English subtitle translation by Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and scholar Tiana Reid, excerpts from a 1969 interview with Sembène, and a new edition of Sembène’s 1966 novella The Money Order, on which the film is based

    New cover by Ify Chiejina
Mandabi
Cast
Makuredia Guey
Ibrahima Dieng
Yunus Ndiay
Mety, the first wife
Isseu Niang
Aram, the second wife
Mustafa Ture
M’barka, the shopkeeper
Farba Sar
M'baye Sarr, the business agent
Serine Ndiay
Imam
Thérèse Bas
Ibrahima’s sister
Mussa Diuf
Abdou, the nephew
Credits
Director
Ousmane Sembène
Written by
Ousmane Sembène
Producer
Robert de Nesle
Cinematographer
Paul Soulignac
Editors
Gilbert Kikoïne
Max Saldinger
Production managers
Jean Maumy
Paulin Vieyra

Current

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