Mandabi

A breakthrough film for Sembene, Africa's best-known filmmaker. Ibrahim Dieng (Gueye) tries to cash a money order from his nephew, but finds he can't because he doesn't have an identity card. He can't get an identity card without a birth certificate, and he can't get a certificate without a photograph. Everywhere he goes he must have something else--either...read more

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A breakthrough film for Sembene, Africa's best-known filmmaker. Ibrahim Dieng (Gueye) tries to cash a money order from his nephew, but finds he can't because he doesn't have an identity card. He can't get an identity card without a birth certificate, and he can't get a certificate without

a photograph. Everywhere he goes he must have something else--either identification or money. After a series of setbacks, Ibrahim realizes his nephew is ripping him off.

A keen satire, MANDABI is not only Sembene's first comedy and first film in color, but also his first in Wolof, the language spoken by most Senegalese people. Its critique of a postcolonial state is much more narrowly focused than those of his earlier short films, and, as the first Senegalese film

to be distributed commercially in Senegal, it more than got its point across. Because he is speaking to his own people, it's not Sembene's most accessible work, but it was still a hit at the 1969 New York Film Festival. Look for the director in a cameo appearance as a public scribe.

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