The Essential Films by the Essential Directors Vol I

Djibril Diop Mambety – People will expound that TOUKI BOUKI is this director’s best fiilm. They are in error, I don’ t even like TOUKI BOUKI. I understand its signifigance in terms of when it was made, the conditions it was made under, but it is too eastern to be successful just aping a western film. It suffers in comparison to all the films it alludes to.

However, the director, Djibril Diop Mambety (I love that name) managed, under always harrowing conditions, to produce two features and a few shorts before his unfortunate passing, and clearly the pinnacle of his work, where his grasp quite nearly met his reach, was the brilliant satire… HYENAS.

It is not just a great ‘African’ film, it is a great film… period. It is something substantially new and haunting under the sun, colonial critique mixed wiith magical realism. Bitingly witty married to blisteringly tragic, it is one of the films you save for posterity.

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