The Shadow & Act Black Filmmaker Series Continues w/ Ousmane Sembène's 'Mandabi'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 18, 2013 3:36 PM
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Thanks to all those folks who contributed to the Black Girl discussion; I was glad to see a healthy number of comments - questions, criticisms, praise, suggestions for the series, and more - and I'm encouraged to continue to with the series, moving on to the next film.

You'll find our first discussion HERE if you missed it, or want to revisit it, or if you need to catch up and learn what this series is all about.

The next film for you to watch in the Ousmane Sembene Shadow & Act Filmmaker Series is Mandabi, which was Sembene's second feature-length film, released in 1968, 2 years after Black Girl.

"Mandabi" translates as "money order" and tells the story of Ibrahima Dieng, a pompous, foolish Senegalese man who receives a large money order from a nephew working in Paris. However, he can't cash the money order, because he lacks proper identification, a problem he spends days trying to rectify - a journey fraught with cheaters, liars, and worse, who want the money as well.

Mandabi
, unlike Semebene's last film we discussed, Black Girl, is a comedy - a humorous social critique, we could say; though, like Black Girl, deceptively simple and direct on its surface, but more layered and sophisticated underneath.

As we did with Black Girl, you have 2 weeks (as of the first announcement a week ago) to watch Mandabi, so that we can talk about it collectively. You have until MARCH 25 to do so!

It's on Netflix, both on DVD and streaming, meaning, those with Netflix accounts can see it right now, just a few clicks away.

You can also pick it up on Amazon.

Or, if neither Netflix or Amazon work for you, I won't be surprised if the entire film has been uploaded onto the web somewhere.

Here are the first 2 minutes of Mandabi:

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