The Money Order
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.