A young, illiterate, disabled girl named Sili from a shantytown on the outskirts of Dakar decides one day to abandon her blind grandmother’s vocation of begging in the street and take up the physically demanding job of selling newspapers.
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Mambety called it a "Hymn" and I can't think of a more accurate description. Its expresses the courageous innards of the marginalized while not pandering or exoticizing their plights.
Plus it has one of the best scores Ive ever listened too.
4,5. Without the iconoclastic and kinetic experimentation of some of his previous films, this movie is a fictionalized portrait of a generation, a people, a territory, an economic and cultural reality. Shortly, with an impressive wealth of nuances and the unparalleled accuracy of a plastic and ethical look, Mambéty remakes a cinema done at the expense of "good feelings", from within and with no complacency.
Just saw this for the first time. It's a perfect film. I knew I was going to like it when they shot the man's hands, dust-covered, making gravel with a hammer. The heroine is all muscle, and the film maker creates scenes in which she soars.
Djibril Diop Mambety's swan song, perhaps my most favorite African film ever. 45 minutes long, I call it a feature film, not a short, as it is a powerful and complete story. Touki Bouki is perhaps the most famous West African film, but I love this one even more. Lissa Balera stars, and she also has a cameo in "Le Franc". Where is she now? Mambety only made 7 films in his life, if you only see one, see this one.
Such a refreshimg and inventive film. Couldn’t decide if it wants more political critique and bite, or more of the curious allegorical/real flicker, or both. Seems kin with Manoel de Oliviera’s oblique ways. Thank you, Mubi, for expanding my experience of what and how film can be. Much more of this is needed.
I have not had this bittersweet feeling in my chest since I was a kid and read Soviet books about smart, enterprising kids overcoming adversity. Such a beautiful portrait of the street youth, and an uplifting parable on why being kind matters. This is my first Mambety, and I'm brokenhearted that he died during the filming. Happy to learn that Lissa Balera was able to attend school with the money she made filming.
I am oh so stunned by the simplicity, the beauty of it, Lissa Balera and her incredible strength, the cruelty of all, the matter-of-fact way he shows a dead dog on the side of the road. Diop Mambéty is a great filmmaker, please don´t say he is a great african filmmaker, that is patronizing. This story would have been cheap in the hands of someone else but he knows what he shows, the everyday violence. Fantastic work.