BBFC RatingMandabi

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DirectorOusmane Sembène
WritersOusmane Sembène
LanguageWolof, French
CountryFrance, Senegal
Running Time1HR 32MINS
Extra InfoSubtitled
SeasonMain Programme

Painstakingly remastered in stunning 4K with a complete sound remaster from badly damaged archive film footage, Mandabi is an ideal entry point into African cinema from master director Ousmane Sembène.

Set in Dakar, Mandabi tells the story of Ibrahima (Makhouredia Gueye) and the transformative effect that a 25,000 franc money order from his nephew in Paris has on his fortunes. Word quickly travels about his new found wealth, while a thousand bureaucratic obstacles stand in the path between him and his money.

Ibrahim, preening and scheming, laying bets he has no means to collect, is a superb character study but Mandabi is also a sprightly, stiletto-sharp satire on post-independence African nations and the shadow cast by colonialism. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, Sembène’s adaptation of his own novella set a new course for African cinema: radical, anti-colonial and proudly independent in its methods, and fulfilled Sembène’s dream “to restore Africa’s stories to Africans.”

“Sembène’s best, most complete film” - David Jenkins, Little White Lies

The 3pm screening on Sat 12 June will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A featuring African cinema expert Dr Aboubakar Sanogo, Africa in Motion Festival Director Liz Chege and expert in Africa’s financial challenges, Ivan Mbowa. This Q&A puts Sembéne’s film in the context of the day and why it is still so relevant today.

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