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I hope that all my stories finish by presenting a lesson for society, but there is also great freedom in my way of seeing and treating things. As I They are hungry; they are ready to eat Dramaan Drameh. Think of Le Franc. Regarding my young colleagues, I have not seen many of their films. The future belongs to images. I rarely go to the cinema. Cinema was born in Africa, because the image itself was born in Africa. at the beginning but he gained dignity because he came to terms with his fate and As I said more than 20 years ago, for the educated African, Chinese, or Japanese, nothing authorizes mediocrity. It seems to me that when we talk about structure, we enter into confusion. Djibril When I set out to find her again, I had the conviction that I was looking for a character from somewhere in my childhood. He talks about his plans for a third part of the ”Tales of Ordinary People” trilogy—which was never made. TOUKI BOUKI (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973). Metrograph Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki follow-up Hyenas continues screening. I had the freedom and confidence to marry his text with my film and make his story my own. like a Hyena. Cinema is magic in the service of dreams. INTERVIEWER: How many of the actors in that film were professional actors? DJIBRIL: Birds are the next step. But you know Africans are also like the world bank. a rush -not a joy for forgetting reality, but a joy for opening your sweet dream Djibril Diop Mambety, director of the award winning Hyenas (click on picture for Real Video clip, "Ramatou's Arrival ") which played to packed audiences at the recent Southern African Film Festival, talks with Rachel Rawlins about his art, god, and the World Bank. Djibril Diop Mambéty (January 1945 – July 23, 1998) was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet.Though he made only two feature films and five short films, they received international acclaim for their original and experimental cinematic technique and non-linear, unconventional narrative style. In the 1999 interview 'The Hyena's Last Laugh," Mambety said "the future belongs to images. Once we have worked together, it seems to me that the actor has already given everything, because I have already asked everything of him or her. I think that the power of madness is one thing, and the madness of power is another thing. In the case of Senegal’s Djibril Diop Mambéty, however, the 19-year rupture that separated his only two feature films, Touki Bouki (1973) and Hyenas (1992), remains a mystery. The instant is motivated. have enough money to pay them so you have to kill some of them. Are you hoping that your audience will learn something got from your actors? For me a film should be a bomb, a bomb of emotion like Hollywood? As I said to the children before, in order to make a film, you must only close your eyes and see the images. Earlier, I focused on the notion of freedom, which includes the freedom not to know. INTERVIEWER: In the beginning of the film and at the end there are scenes of elephants The only thing they have that is human is greed. there are people that are making films just for the sake of making films.... who And to make it global, we borrowed somebody from Japan, and carnival scenes from the annual Carnival of Humanity of the French Communist Party in Paris. I say that as a creator and manipulator of character and event. So what they have in common is cowardice. You must have the freedom and confidence to understand and critique what you see. In these matters, humans are mere toys. with them in order to get that quality of performance. strong force. When I was young, when I went to the movies, I was always angry when I saw an actor who had died in one film appearing in another film alive. Personally, I prefer films in the eyes of younger filmmakers - for myself it's better DJIBRIL: Theatre is theatre. Djibril is Gabriel, like the angel. Marginalized people bring a community into contact with a wider world. What do you mean by that? Restored by the World Cinema Project and now available from The Criterion Collection, Djibril Diop Mambéty's cheeky critique of colonialism, Touki Bouki (Journey of … DJIBRIL: My last hope is that my children become In one word, “liberty” is what characterizes what I am doing. So they were marginalized people, in that respect. I am all for the quality of things—the total quality. I will finish the third part of the trilogy about ordinary people. That is why we made them animals, because animals commit this kind of murder. DJIBRIL: African film makers I am sure are able That doesn’t change anything. and how you'd like to be described. Do you want to change anything I was first introduced to Djibril Diop Mambéty's dazzling Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena) through the Criterion Collection's first box set from Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project.Watching Scorsese's introduction (once again included in this new standalone release), it's nearly impossible not to get caught up in his clear love and … Pourrait-on parler d’abord de ton frère Djibril ? Birds know what god Thus, the rich man creates a problem, but she manages to escape this problem, because she dreams of something better. Everyone comes in—to buy food, or to have a drink—so Dramaan Drameh has the key to the “tree of words.” Yet he is marginal. A film is a kind of meeting; there is giving and receiving. I left the national theatre to make my first film "Contrast City" in 1969. 2, 1999. What is said is stronger than what is written; the word addresses itself to the imagination, not the ear. You are very definitely frightened and elephants follow the wind. I have seen fewer African films than you have. Hyenas are Linguère Ramatou is also marginalized, because she is exactly the same person who crossed the Atlantic to go to Europe in Touki Bouki. Film programmer and critic Ashley Clark includes a portion of an interview with Mambéty in which he says, “The hyena is an African animal … falsehood, a caricature of man. (2011). Their hair makes them buffaloes. Now that I have made it, Hyenas belongs as much to the viewer as to me. Une interview avec LISSA BALERA, la comédienne d'une des meilleurs films du cinema africain, LA PETITE VENDEUSE DU SOLEIL (Djibril Diop Mambety) Mardi soir, lors de la projection de Hyènes à Colobane, en l'honneur du cinéaste Djibril Diop Mambéty disparu il y a une décennie, une spectatrice a suscité l'émotion : Lissa Balera. All of these are intended to open the horizons, to make the film universal. Europe is not important for me. There are others who can respond to this better than me, but I know that Africa is immensely rich in cinematic potential. going on, and between the elephants at the beginning and the elephants at the end, hope? It is good for the future of cinema that Africa exists. Tell me about that. INTERVIEWER: So is there no It’s the way I dream. I do not want to use an actor again once we have worked together. The whole society of Colobane is made up of ordinary people. Something went wrong. place in a poor city, amongst poor people and what I'm saying is : if you want money To do that, one must have a mad belief that everything is possible—you have to be mad to the point of being irresponsible. Tout cela se voit dans des scènes du film, la violence : quand Mory ne part pas, et tout ce sang qui est versé, c’est la vie de Djibril… » Andrea Paganini : Bonjour Wasis. Africa can rediscover that moment of the invention of cinema. I have a great desire to demystify cinema—especially the financial aspect of cinema. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a vivid, fractured portrait of Senegal in the early 1970s. Did you train them? They are all disguised because no one wants to carry the individual responsibility for murder. Oral tradition does not just mean opening your mouth. You know why? In Hyenas, the people of Colobane would not have been able to enact a collective murder if they had each kept their individual clothing. Clements, Clare (2011): "Meandering through Dakar. The first two films, The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun and Le Franc, were shown together as Metrograph’s premiere Live Screening. Rawlins about his art, god, and the World Bank. It has to do with stimulation: from the images I do the music, from the music I do the sound. All movement is accompanied by a sense. For each individual to have clean hands, everybody has to be dirty, to share in the same communal guilt. So are you saying that this is a positive aspect of the "we know that you're poor but you have too many peoples working and you don't Film is film. In: manycinemas 2/2011, 16–29, Online auf My work is not based on premeditation or planning; it is based on the instant. Hyenas are not the time, elephants are the time and during INTERVIEWER: How long did it take you to get the quality of performance that you "African Conversations," interview with June Givanni, in Sight andSound (London) September 1995. for the reality. Every time I make a film I want to reinvent film. So I decided to study drama, but one day in the theater, I realized that I love pictures. I began to make Hyenas when I realized I absolutely had to find one of the characters in Touki Bouki, which I had made 20 years before. Philosophical and private motives apparently led to Terrence Malick’s more recent 20-year hiatus. Do you think that to reinvent the cinema. The difference between professionals and non- professionals is a professional learns When I was young, I preferred acting to making pictures. My task was to identify the enemy of humankind: money, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. The cinema of Djibril Diop Mambéty is filled with dreamers. I am not a contrarian. While Hyenas tells a human story to the whole world, I also wanted to pay homage to the beauty of Africa when I made the film. The point is not that she is Asian. VIOLATION Video Interview… Interview: Teemour Mambéty Diop on “Hyenas” And His Father’s Legacy Paulette Gomis talks to Teemour Mambéty Diop, son of legendary "Hyenas" director Djibril, about living with a filmmaker father and embracing his legacy. The people of Colobane are dressed in rice bags. But this aspect of his character allows me to investigate every aspect of his society. If we think of Dramaan Drameh in Hyenas, we find that he, too, is marginalized, although he is a well-known character in the city of Colobane; he is marginal even though he owns a market. Movement creates its own internal dynamic, and the different effects of a film—text, music, image—arise from this dynamic: they are never separated. That is not an explanation or an ideology. whose wings flow in the wind, and African Film makers can be birds for reinventing To me, structure often means premeditation. Kill and the money Most of them knew their characters because You have elephants going away with the wind. The hyena comes out only at night; he is afraid of daylight, like the hero of Touki Bouki—he does not want to see daylight, he does not want to see himself by daylight, so he always travels at night. This discussion is an excerpt of what appears in Transition 78, published in 1999, the year after Mambéty’s death at just 53. "The Hyena's Last Laugh: A Conversation with Djibril Diop Mambety," interview with N. Frank Ukadike, in Transition, vol. is like. It takes The point is that everyone in Colobane—everyone everywhere—lives within a system of power that embraces the West, Africa, and the Land of the Rising Sun. She breaks them into smaller stones that can be used in construction. Flâneurs, Fragmentation and the Flow of Life in Djibil Diop Mambéty’s Cinema of Wanderers". Anny Wynchank, Djibril Diop Mambety ou Le voyage du voyant, Éd. We are perhaps poor in money but so rich by situation and hope. INTERVIEWER: Why did you make Notable, but marginal: the fact that everyone confides in him sets him apart. Imagination creates the image and the image creates cinema, so we are in direct lineage as cinema’s parents. He talks about his plans for a third part of the “Tales of Ordinary People” trilogy-which was never made. power of the story - and also the quality of the photography. What is it you money.". They are the time. I do not refuse the word didactic. For example, at the end of Hyenas, if you want to know where Dramaan Drameh’s body has gone, you risk breaking the magic. From time to time, I want to make a film, but I am not a filmmaker; I have never been a filmmaker. Is there any significance to this? In an interview from 1995, the Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety remembered his first encounters with the movies. 1. or which character they wanted to be. winning Hyenas (click on picture for Real Video clip, "Ramatou's Arrival") which played After I unveiled this very pessimistic picture of human beings and society in their nakedness in Hyenas, I wanted to build up the image of the common people. I like wind very much. D jibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 film Touki bouki was first released by The Criterion Collection in late 2012 as part of their boxset Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. J osephine Baker’s “Paris, Paris,” a romantic ode to the titular city, is often heard throughout Djibril Diop Mambéty’s droll, radically stylized feature-length debut from 1973, Touki Bouki.And always the song skips at the same point in the sampled refrain, leaving us to feel as if we’re stuck in a loop of unfulfilled aspiration alongside the Senegalese couple at the center of the film. African condition - a sacrifice that has to be made? Perhaps a marginal person can give you an accurate vision of a society because he varies from its norms. The hyena has no sense of shame, but it represents nudity, which is the shame of human beings. Diop Mambety Economically, yes, but basically, no. A rich man comes along, and a magazine that should cost 5 francs is sold for 500 francs. DJIBRIL: You know I don't often go to the cinema. He experimented with theater, but in 1968, he was asked to leave an avant-garde theater group. They are nearer life than a professional. this film, apart from the fact that it was a elephants away from Hyenas. A wealthy woman (Ami Diakhate) returns to her—and Mambéty’s—home village, and offers the inhabitants a vast sum in exchange for the murder … I do not choose the music, I choose the sound. to imply that there is some kind of standard, some kind of hope. You have to clean up your economy. Then we can give •, Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service. It is very important to preserve the magic of cinema. When a story ends—or “falls into the ocean,” as we say—it creates dreams. The hyena comes out only at night, he is afraid of daylight, like the hero of Touki bouki …” Mory, more than Ante, schemes and plots, constantly trying to find ways to find the funds to escape Dakar, a place they feel is too weighed … DJIBRIL: Yes, it's mathematics. That was how I found myself in this thing called cinema. So La tailleuse de pierre shows how an individual can dream of beauty. Where the money to make a film comes from doesn’t matter. to packed audiences at the recent Southern African Film Festival, talks with Rachel lion's last days it comes down and jumps on him and eats him, eats the lion peacefully. They know we are sick and poor and we Style is a word that I do not like. That broke the magic of cinema for me. 23, No. I want to survive. The professional actor does not exist. that time Hyenas like you and I will try to survive. Students, like the children I referred to earlier, are waiting to discover that making a film is a matter of love, not money. Interview By N. Frank Ukadike This discussion is an excerpt of what appears in Transition 78, published in 1999, the year after Mambéty’s death at just 53. It's the money. INTERVIEWER: Why did you move But it’s a complicated dream, one in which there’s a tension between the seduction of leaving and the desire to stay. DJIBRIL: I Just asked them who they wanted to play The hero of the film is going crazy because of a lottery ticket, but he manages to hold on because he has the power of dreaming. Though she’s considered a first-time filmmaker by Cannes standards, Mati Diop is hardly a newcomer, having spent more than a decade working as an actress in films by Claire Denis (35 Shots of Rum), Antonio Campos (Simon Killer), and Matías Piñeiro (Hermia and Helena), and directing a small but vital collection of shorts. DJIBRIL: I can't say. is very difficult to do. It means evoking, creating, and writing. A cowherd with a skull-mounted motorcycle and a university student meet in Dakar; put off by life in Senegal, they plan to make money in Paris. INTERVIEWER: But to me you are not putting theatre onto film. are killing their own people because of the World Bank's money? Great intro by Scorsese and a 12 min interview with Abderrahmane Sissako on his love for the film. Imagination created the image and the image created cinema" (qtd. Anta and Mory do not dream of building castles in Africa; they dream of finding some sort of Atlantis overseas. Why should I magnify the ordinary person after this debauch of defects? INTERVIEWER: What about the films that you've seen here in Harare? Sissako calls Djibril Diop Mambéty the greatest African filmmaker. Oral tradition is a tradition of images. Diop Mambety, director of the award all these people in the story came from bars, from townships, like the one in the I prefer walking like an elephant rather than making films I tell them to close their eyes, to look at the stars, and look into their hearts, and then to open their eyes and see if the film they want to make is there, in front of their eyes. I understand that at the opening of the Festival you stood up and said that In this French New Wave-influenced fantasy-drama, two young lovers long to leave Dakar for the glamour and comforts of France, but their escape plan is beset by complications both concrete and mystical. . INTERVIEWER: So you're a maker of dreams. Sada Niang: Djibril Diop Mambety: un cinéaste à contre-courant, Paris: Editions L'Harmattan, 2002. Djibril Diop Mambety Mati Diop The Criterion Collection Djibril Diop Mambéty Magaye Niang Myriam Niang Christoph Colomb Mustapha Ture Drama. N. Frank Ukadike, The Hyena's Last Laugh interview with Djibril Diop Mambety dans Transition 78 (vol. Southern African Film Festival--1993 When artists converge on these images, there is no longer room for ethnic peculiarities; there is only room for talent. said, film is a very young invention and I have to follow how others are making films. Shortly thereafter, he made his first film short called Badou Boy (1970), which dealt with the life of a young renegade. That's why they In La petite vendeuse de Soleil [The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun], all the protagonist wants is to sell her magazines, but money comes to subvert her plan. I don’t want to talk about Europe. You have elephants at the end which seems So comparison with anything else stops there. using film in an innovative way, by exploiting the medium to its utmost. I have said to the young filmmakers, “If you want to make a film, please think thoroughly about the content of the film you would make.” But I cannot compare their films to mine; I cannot talk about African cinema. It does not mean adorned with makeup. (pause). Bank. INTERVIEWER: To me the hero gained dignity through his sacrifice. Fund did the same......with the poor South of the world. DJIBRIL: There is some kind of hope. She is a rich foreigner. So I decided to study drama, but one day in the theater, I realized that I love pictures. You must have had to work substantially The first two were Touki Bouki and Hyenas. too. Atlantics (Mati Diop, 2019). But they can wait, wait for the last days when you say OK, I know DJIBRIL: Its earned millions many millions. Here are Mambety… 189-203. The abandoned bags of rice that the people of Colobane wear at the end of the film did not cost much; it was only the equipment for the production that was a little expensive. If the mayor had dressed like a mayor, if the professor had dressed like a professor, then they would have felt individual responsibility. I never learnt cinema in any schools. it is about the World Bank. I don’t conduct myself with reference to other people. Let’s talk about making films in Africa. Museum of Modern Art The master Abel Ferrara–with whom we recently spoke in a wide-ranging interview–is given his largest-ever retrospective. from theatre to film to express your dreams? The Hyena’s Last Laugh: A Conversation with, “I AM INTERESTED IN MARGINALIZED PEOPLE, BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT THEY DO MORE FOR THE EVOLUTION OF A COMMUNITY THAN THE CONFORMISTS.”, “CINEMA WAS BORN IN AFRICA, BECAUSE THE IMAGE ITSELF WAS BORN IN AFRICA.”. one of you will have to be killed. person, his own soul, his present soul and tries to make do with it. money. Are you saying that it is inevitable This is Anta, the girl who had the courage to leave Africa and cross the Atlantic alone. Everything has to be perfect, but what does perfect mean? It is intrinsic to the film; it magnifies the action. The first two films, The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun and Le… have some dignity. DJIBRIL: All my life is a dream. You know the Hyena is a terrible With reference to "rich as World Bank" Director Mambety said in a 1993 interview that - "They tell the African people 'we know that you're poor but you have too many people working and you don't have enough money to pay them so you have to kill some of them. from the west. The hyena is a permanent presence in humans, and that is why man will never be perfect. film is a specific sort of animal? It never kills. But the instant of murder required collective responsibility, and this required a mask. He grew up in Colobane, a neighborhood in Dakar, where his father was an imam. in Ukadike 6). You mustn’t expect me to cut the patrimony of the mind into pieces and fragments. African continent has something in particular to offer ? She dared to lift up the moorings of the vessel and sail out. hyenas. It means that something is well communicated. You've made an extraordinary film in terms of the power - the kind of mythological That implies confidence in your ability to construct images from the bottom of your heart. Wasis Diop … And during the They tell the African people that the world bank comes in and demands this and people have to pay that price? accepted it with dignity. Because I know that cinema must be reinvented, reinvented each time, and whoever ventures into cinema also has a share in its reinvention. Interview with Djibril Facets Multimedia. People who want modern buildings in their neighborhood ask her to move her workshop away. Then I will consult God about the state of the world. I think my target is clear. In the third part, La tailleuse de pierre, a woman excavates pieces of basalt. story that had to be told? INTERVIEWER: Hyenas has been very popular DJIBRIL: You know the world bank is just a picture. make films I want to make sure that there exists this sense of reinvention and this 8, n° 2, 1999) Anny Wynchank : Le Franc de Djibril Diop Mambety, une ré … I am interested in marginalized people, because I believe that they do more for the evolution of a community than the conformists. Well, I do not like the word discourse, so perhaps I should have said the instant is forced by the necessities of movement. They follow the wind and follow the life. I waited for that moment, my life's dream, your dream. .] that is like a bird about Hyenas? They're the same slaves to money and that's perhaps a heritage In 68 are more truthful to their material. They are free to take their own path, to enter or to leave. INTERVIEWER: Just tell me your name and your occupation If the west leaves Africans alone, their money and the profit will stay the same That is the life of the World from it or act on it? What’s essential is communication. Please take my dignity and kill me with your Journal of African Cultural Studies: Vol. Their objective is to amass as many riches as possible and to create the deadly harmony that Linguère Ramatou desires. Professional actors break the magic of the dream and the magic of cinema. I must just wait for when the dream is Myself, I am actor. Mambety’s quotes shared below are concern with his film making but also his vision of Afrika and were taken from an interview he did with N. Frank Ukadike, entitled: The Hyena’s Last Laugh: A conversation with Djibril Diop Mambety. Africa Film & TV Magazine. ... An abstract, surreal lovers on the run road movie explodes and implodes under the force of Mambety's stylized editing, the timeline of events vague and open ended. All my friends That's why I like working with non-professionals. So costume is not an ornament, it is the reflection of a situation. 2, pp. With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a fractured portrait of the disenchantment of postindependence Senegal in the early 1970s. DJIBRIL: You know in the beginning I kill them. That was how I found myself in this thing called cinema. 8, no. Only magic knows where his body has gone. the seventh art. Is it different from sick lion during all seasons. When I The World Bank and it's International Monetary also dream of being elephants. For me, part of that beauty is the fact that it is not very difficult to make a film in Africa. Hyenas, please, It means clearly said. All Rights Reserved. I do the audience justice: they have the freedom to enter or not to enter into my stories. my dignity is meat. I prefer theatre to making films, but I lost my own theatre many years ago. I came from the theatre to the cinema. INTERVIEWER: A history of a dream. Quality, quality. They live with Hyenas, and I am sure that in the darkness of the world, they DJIBRIL: My name is Djibril. I am free with pictures. DJIBRIL DIOP MAMBETY: I loved pictures when I was a very young boy --but pictures didn't mean cinema to me then. kill enough people and we will give about his character in order to play it, but a non-professional plays with his own which don't really appear anywhere else. Returning home: Djibril Diop Mambety's Hyènes. “When a story ends—or ‘falls into the ocean,’ as we say—it creates dreams,” said the great Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambéty in an interview after the completion of his second film, Hyenas, a wildly freeform adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit. A few quotes were also taken via Wikipedia. Is it a didactic film in any way? am just a history of a dream. Marginalized people interested Mambety because he believed that "they The instruments, yes, are European, but the creative necessity and rationale exist in our oral tradition. “We were very young,” he said, and not allowed out at night because the area was dangerous. - birds are our dreams - and reinvent cinema. than going to see films. For that reason, their hair is done as that of the buffalo—the laughingstock of the savanna—and the rice bags they wear symbolize their objective.

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