Djibril Diop Mambety
in Postcolonial African cinema
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At the time of his premature death in 1998, at the relatively young age of fifty-three, there was a consensus amongst many commentators that the Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety was the most gifted of all African film directors. If we examine the work of the first generation of sub-Saharan African filmmakers as a whole, his films certainly stand out for their rejection of the dominant, 'prosaic' social realism of his colleagues, in favour of a more 'poetic', indirect and highly experimental style. This chapter explores the notions of the modern, the postmodern and the postcolonial, and assess how they relate to Mambety's work. It shows how individuals and communities in Senegal have been transformed by the arrival of capitalism is central to Mambety's work. The chapter focuses on Mambety's films, Touki Bouki and Hyenas, as these offer an illuminating contrast between the early and late periods of Mambety's career.

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