EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HYENAS (HYENES) (RAMATOU) (director/writer: Djibril Diop Mambéty; screenwriter: from the play "The Visit" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt; cinematographer: Matthias Kalin; editor: Loredana Cristelli ; music: Wasis Diop ; cast: Ami Diakhate (Linguere Ramatou), Mansour Diouf (Dramaan), Mahouredia Gueye (The Mayor), Issa Ramagelissa Samb (The Teacher), Rama Thiaw (Dramaan's wife), Faly Gueye (The Mayor's Wife), Calgou Fall (The Priest); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Alain Rozanes/Pierre Alain Meier; Kino Video; 1992-Senegal/France/Switzerland-in Wolof with English subtitles)|
|"Dark political satire about
corruption is set in Western Africa."
by Dennis Schwartz
This dark political satire about
corruption is set in Western Africa and is partly
based on Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt's
play The Visit. Senegal
writer-director Djibril Diop Mambéty
("Touki Bouki"/"Le Franc"/"The Little Girl Who Sold
The Sun") tells a human condition parable that
ascertains that almost anyone can be subject to
small impoverished village of Colobane, that's beset
by a severe drought, hope rings out when after a 30-year absence hometown
Ramatou, now embittered, wrinkled with age and saddled
with an artificial leg, returns as a wealthy woman who
is willing to give the village all the money it needs
live comfortably if they execute her former grocer
(Mansour Diouf), the
respectable merchant who when he was 20 and she was 17
impregnated her and then abandoned her to marry
another woman. When she accused him back then of wronging her,
he bribed with wine two boy witnesses to lie in court
on his behalf. The witnesses have been captured by the
vengeful lady, who castrated them and made then
confess to the citizens of Colobane that their
previous testimony was a lie.
How the locals react
to such an outrageous
offer, brings out the worst in most residents. All
characters are thinly sketched, and predictably start
acting like hyenas when greed overtakes them. The only
one who grows from this ordeal is the grocer, who
somehow finds inner peace in resolving his bad karma
by facing things with honor.
The well-shot stylistic pic
has its moments, but never materializes with much
gravitas as its allegorical lessons become as
heavy-footed as an elephant's walk and by the
conclusion the story loses its intensity and any magic
it was shooting for.
REVIEWED ON 5/8/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ