DFT @ Home | Mandabi (The Money Order)

(Senegal/France/1968—directed by Ousmane Sembène)

An unemployed man named Ibrahim receives a money order for around $100 from a nephew who sweeps streets in Paris. News of his windfall quickly spreads among money-seeking friends, relatives and bill collectors, but Ibrahim discovers that he can’t cash the money order without an identity card, resulting in a maze of bureaucracy and a torrent of new troubles.

The remarkable 1968 Mandabi (The Money Order) was adapted from his own novella by legendary Senegalese writer-director Ousmane Sembène, and was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of Sembène’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans.

Deeply funny and profoundly indignant, Mandabi is a richly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by bureaucracy, corruption and poverty. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 1968 Venice Film Festival, Mandabi cemented Sembène’s reputation as the “father of African film” and signified his emergence as one of the world’s great, uncompromising artists. New 4K restoration; in Wolof and French with English subtitles. (91 minutes)

“A richly comic and multi-textual first cousin to The Bicycle Thief.” -J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

"Momentously beautiful... simple, comic, heartbreaking." Joe Morgenstern, Newsweek


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