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Mandabi (1968) More at IMDbPro »


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Ousmane Sembene (writer)
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Release Date:
26 March 1970 (USA) See more »
A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order. He deals with corruption... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Modest Film of Post-Colonial Senegal See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
Makhouredia Gueye ... Ibrahim Dieng
Ynousse N'Diaye ... 1st Wife
Isseu Niang ... 2nd Wife
Serigne N'Diayes ... Imam
Serigne Sow ... Maissa
Mustapha Ture ... Shop Keeper
Farba Sarr ... Businessman
Moudoun Faye ... Mailman
Mouss Diouf ... Nephew
Christoph Colomb ... Water Seller
Thérèse Bas ... Dieng's Sister
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mamadou Cisoko

Directed by
Ousmane Sembene 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ousmane Sembene  writer

Produced by
Robert de Nesle .... producer
Cinematography by
Paul Soulignac 
Film Editing by
Gilbert Kikoïne 
Max Saldinger 
Production Management
Ibrahima Barro .... unit production manager
Jean Maumy .... production manager
Paulin Vieyra .... production manager (as Paul S. Vieyra)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Babakar Samb .... assistant director
Sound Department
Mawa Gay .... boom operator
Elhadji Mbow .... assistant sound
Henri Moline .... sound (as Henry Moline)
Camera and Electrical Department
Maya Bracher .... still photographer
Robert Caristan .... camera operator (as J. Karistan)
Dia Cherif .... electrician
Emile Ganem .... electrician
Issa Tiaw .... assistant camera
Other crew
Anne-Marie Rochas .... script supervisor
Awa Sylla .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min | Senegal:105 min (Wolof version)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:


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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Modest Film of Post-Colonial Senegal, 9 August 2005
Author: aliasanythingyouwant from United States

Ousmane Sembene's Mandabi traces the descent of a poor Senegalese Muslim who, upon trying to cash a money-order at his village post office, somehow finds himself pitted against overwhelming bureaucratic and societal forces. The protagonist, Ibrahim (Makhouredia Gueye, unassuming and comically dignified), is a lazy and vain but fundamentally decent man, an illiterate villager whose unexpected windfall becomes the catalyst of his downfall - the means by which this simple, more-or-less honest, foible-ridden individual comes face-to-face with the indifference, the corruption of the modern world. His story takes on the quality of a fable, a slight, at times comic one. Sembene, an observer of human nature, keeps his characters at arms-length, and by watching them carefully from this middle-distance is able to convey their basic equality as creatures trying to survive in a confusing, unfair world. It also happens that this mid-range staging is perfect for creating a deliberate, unobtrusive sense of comedy, of human folly gently revealed. The film is, at the same time, a window upon the culture of post-colonial Senegal, a world that seems poised uneasily between tradition (village life; Islam) and modernity (bureaucracy; crime; money-grubbing). There's no question that Sembene is on the side of the little people - he may chide Ibrahim for letting his wives run his life, for being irresponsible with money (he borrows on the money-order before it's cashed), but he also applauds him for his doggedness and faith, the things that poor people always have to lean on. A modest film but a wise one (despite a slightly forced denouement).

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