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Mandabi

The Money Order

Ousmane Sembène | 1968 | 92 MINS
Senegal | Subtitles
The first feature ever made in an African language, ‘Mandabi’ fulfilled director Ousmane Sembène’s dream “to restore Africa’s stories to Africans.” This stunning new 4K restoration brings it to the rest of the world.

In Detail

Set in Dakar, ‘Mandabi’ tells the story of Ibrahim (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 newfound 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 but 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.

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