Hyenas

(Hyènes)
Senegal/Switzerland/France 1992. Dir: Djibril Diop Mambéty. 110 min. DCP

“A landmark film. It is heartening to know that a new audience can now discover a film that was shamefully neglected by most of the critical establishment.”
RICHARD PORTON, CINEASTE MAGAZINE

“A mesmerizing anti-neocolonial masterpiece.”
LALYA GAYE, MUBI NOTEBOOK

NEW RESTORATION! It took almost twenty years for Senegalese writer-director Djibril Diop Mambéty to release a feature follow-up to Touki bouki, his seminal work of African cinema. A spiritual sequel to that 1973 landmark, Hyenas relates the story of a now-affluent elderly woman who returns home to her impoverished, desert village with a proposition: in exchange for her fortune, murder the well-liked local grocer who impregnated and abandoned her as a teenager. The villagers, seduced by the prospect of wealth, convince themselves that it’s justice guiding their decision. Adapted from the tragicomic play The Visit by Swiss dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Mambéty’s Cannes-debuted film, unfairly dismissed in its day, is a vibrant, sardonic parable of revenge, material corruption, and neocolonialism. Mambéty was editing the second in a planned trilogy of short films to follow Hyenas when he succumbed to lung cancer in 1998. In Wolof with English subtitles.

Djibril Diop Mambéty × 2 | Hyenas screens in a double bill with Mambéty's 1973 debut feature Touki bouki, a landmark work in African cinema.

 

REVIEWS

"A lush satirical masterpiece."

IndieWire | full review

"A must see ... Wonderful."

Chicago Reader | full review