UWI Film Programme Presents…Ousmane Sembene’s Mandabi

Event Date(s): 24/06/2009

Location: First floor auditorium, Centre for Language Learning UWI.

The film will be introduced by Dr. Christopher Meir, Lecturer in Film, UWI. There will be an open discussion afterward. The screening is free and open to the public.



Director: Ousmane Sembene

Country of origin: Senegal

Year of release: 1968

Run time: 90 minutes

Wednesday 24th June 5:30 p.m.


Mandabi is the story of Ibrahim, an illiterate Senegalese villager who tries to cash a money order sent to him by a relative working in Paris, and somehow finds himself pitted against overwhelming bureaucratic and societal forces. Ibrahim is a lazy and vain but fundamentally decent man, and his unexpected windfall becomes the catalyst of his downfall—the means by which this simple, more-or-less honest, foible-ridden individual comes face-to-face with the indifference, the corruption of the modern world.

Ibrahim’s story takes on the quality of a comic fable, and Ousmane Sembene, keeping his characters at arm’s length, is able to convey their basic equality as creatures trying to survive in a confusing, unfair world. This mid-range staging is also perfect for creating a deliberate, unobtrusive sense of comedy, of human folly gently revealed. At the same time, the film is a window upon the culture of post-colonial Senegal, a world that seems poised uneasily between tradition (village life, Islam) and modernity (bureaucracy, crime, money-grubbing).

Open to: | General Public | Staff | Student | Alumni |


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