This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. One of Sembène’s most coruscatingly funny and indignant films, Mandabi—an adaptation of a novella by the director himself—is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty.


  • Ousmane Sembène
  • Senegal
  • 1968
  • 91 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • French, Wolof
  • Spine #1065


  • New 4K restoration, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by film scholar Aboubakar Sanogo
  • Conversation from 2020 with author and screenwriter Boubacar Boris Diop and sociologist and feminist activist Marie Angélique Savané
  • Praise Song, a new program about director Ousmane Sembène featuring outtakes from the 2015 documentary Sembène! of interviews with author and activist Angela Davis, musician Youssou N’Dour, filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and many others
  • Tauw, a 1970 short film by Sembène
  • New English subtitle translation by Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and scholar Tiana Reid, excerpts from a 1969 interview with Sembène, and a new edition of Sembène’s 1966 novella The Money Order, on which the film is based

    New cover by Ify Chiejina
you may also be interested