Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Hybrid event: HYENAS

27 July 2021, 8:00 pm–10:30 pm


Sands Films Cinema Club in collaboration with UCL: special screening of Djibril Diop Mambety's 1992 film

This event is free.

Event Information

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Institute of Advanced Studies


Sands Films Studio
82 Saint Marychurch Street
SE16 4HZ


In collaboration with the Queen Mary University of London Postcolonial Seminar and UCL join us for a special screening of Djibril Diop Mambety's Hyenas (1992). The screening will be introduced by Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, associate professor of African anthropology, specialising in Francophone West Africa and particularly in performance cultures and migration in Senegal.

Hyenas (1992), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s biting satire of postcolonial dreams, tells the story of a former sex worker returning to an economically devastated village and her sinister plot for revenge against a past lover.

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Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Hyenas, newly restored, is inspired by Swiss dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s tragicomedy The Visit (1956). The varied adaptations of Dürrenmatt’s satirical play—which include the 1964 international coproduction, starring Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn—are testament to the play’s popularity and the timeless relevance of its message. Mambéty’s special genius lay in his ability to adapt the much-renowned European play to an African setting, imbuing it with local resonance and aesthetic expression. The film’s riveting power flows as much from its reliance on African oral traditions and modes of communication as from the regularly recurring animal and natural themes which underpin the film’s moral and emotional conflict.

Adhering closely to the plot of Dürrenmatt’s play, Hyenas follows the return to Colobane of a superbly wealthy widow, after a 30-year absence. Resplendently adorned and accompanied by a colourful, regal entourage, Linguère Ramatou (Ami Diakhate) has returned to right an injustice committed against her and punish the perpetrator. As a beautiful and spirited but penniless 17-year old, she had been seduced and left pregnant by Dramaan Drameh (Mansour Diouf), then a young man from a higher social order. Bent on marrying a woman from a prestigious family, Drameh had conspired to have the paternity suit that Ramatou had filed against him thrown out, defaming her in the process and forcing her into exile. But neither the obstacles that she subsequently faced nor the remarkable encounters that would go on to alter her fate could quash Ramatou’s strong desire to vindicate her reputation and make Drameh suffer for what she had had to endure.

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