Neuralism was born in post-Italy. By the mid-1950s, however, the greatest examples of this were made overseas. “Market” (“The Money Order”), the second feature film by the Dean of West African Filmmakers Osmen Sembene (1923–2007), is one. Filmed on the streets of Dakar, Senegal with the cast of a nonprofit, it is a bad story of good luck that has gone bad. Newly restored, 1968 film can be streamed Film forum, Starting 15 January.
“Stop Hitting Us With Hope,” leaves the honor of one of the film’s two wives, the yet helpless protagonist Ibrahim, who does not work in four years. The postman just told them that, like a bolt of blue, a money order had come from Ibrahim’s nephew in Paris.
News travels fast. Needy neighbors, not to mention local imams, come out of their hands. Meanwhile, Ibrahima realizes that in order to cash the money order, he must have an identity card, and to get an identity card, he needs a birth certificate, and to get a birth certificate, Must have a friend in court – not to mention a picture and money to get one. Being illiterate, Ibrahima would also need someone to explain every process. Once the command center for the African colonies of France, there is no dearth of bureaucrats in Dakar.
While it is unclear exactly how Ibrahima endorses her two wives, seven children, and her own vanity in a city where freshwater is a cash item, their wives wait on her as if she were a child. Was. Ibrahima’s pampering causes an actual baby to be waving off-camera, but more intense irony concerns her identity. His mission to cash his nephew’s money order shows that he has none, at least in any official sense. Worse, he is not even discovered by a gust of wind, which sets him as a mark for all manner of thugs, hustlers and thieves – in a word, society at large
People confront Ibrahima with great selfishness. “Mandabi” is quite generous though – rich in detail, a feast for the eyes and ears. The colors are vibrant and saturated; The title song was a local hit until it recognized its subversive power, with the Senegal government banning it from radio. (Based on a short story of the first President of Senegal) Lopold Cedar SenghorThe film has a complex relationship with authority, which may be responsible for reducing the optimism of its tack-on ending.)
Film critic Roger Greensoon of The New York Times reviewing “Mandabi” shown at the 1969 New York Film Festival wrote He, “as a comedy dealing with the sufferings of life, it exhibits a controlled sophistication.” In fact, “Mandabi” may initially sound like a story out of Kafka or the Book of Jobs, but it essentially criticizes a colonialist system that pits class against class in the exploitation of almost all.
It is also a satire of self-deception. Years ago, Sembène Told two interviewers From the film quarterly that “Mandi” was shown all over Africa “because every other country claims that what happens in the film is only in Senegal.”
Available for screening from 15 January; filmforum.org.