Studiocanal Giving Ousmane Sembène’s Trailblazing Mandabi A 4K Release

Studiocanal have announced they will release a 4K restoration of Ousmane Sembène’s trailblazing Senegalese classic Mandabi (The Money Order), in June.

Directed, written and produced by the legendary, ‘father of African cinema’ Ousmane Sembène, the film was originally made in 1968 where it won the Special Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival. This will be the first time the film has been released in the UK and is complete with new artwork by Nigerian artist Adekunle Adeleke .

This second feature by Sembène was the first movie ever made in an African language—a major step toward the realisation of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. One of his 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.

One day, Ibrahima Dieng (Makhouredia Gueye) receives a letter containing a money order from his nephew, a street sweeper in Paris. Ibrahima, without work in Dakar, and with a large family to support can only keep 2,000 CFA francs; a portion must be kept aside for his nephew and the rest to be given to his sister. But the news spreads fast in his neighbourhood … his wives, his neighbours and family see in this promise of money their escape. Ibrahima must then face a nightmarish foray into the corrupt and absurd world of Senegalese bureaucracy, which eventually leaves him even more miserable than he was before.

The 4K restoration of the film premiered at the Lumière Film Festival 2020 in Lyon with Sembène’s son, Alain Sembène in attendance to present the film at the special occasion.

 Bonus content:

  • Shooting Mandabi – Silent Footage from British Pathé
  • Audio Commentary with Sembène! (2015) Filmmakers Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman
  • Interview with Alain Sembène
  • Interview with African film Curator and Consultant Keith Shiri
  • Discussion with Sembène Specialist and Author David Murphy
  • Conversation in Dakar with Author Boubacar Boris Diop and Sociologist Marie-Angélique Savané
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 20-page booklet with brand-new essay from celebrated Sembène writer David Murphy

Vintage World Cinema release Mandabi will be available to pre-order here

Mandabi (The Money Order)  will also be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital in June 2021