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Mandabi (PG) + recorded Q&A (selected screenings)

a man reaches out to a woman and closes his eyes

With his startlingly funny but clear-eyed satire Mandabi, Ousmane Sembène made a bid for the world to reorient itself towards Africa as the heart of cinema.

This first feature ever made in an African language fulfilled Sembène’s dream “to restore Africa’s stories to Africans.” This new 4K restoration brings it to the rest of the world.

Set in Dakar, Mandabi tells the story of Ibrahima and the transformative effect 25k francs from his nephew in Paris has on his fortunes. Word quickly travels about his new found wealth but bureaucratic obstacles stand in the path between him and his money. Ibrahim, preening and scheming, laying bets he has no means to collect, is a superb character study. The film is also a sharp satire on post-independence African nations and the shadow of colonialism.

Screenings on Sat 12 & Sun 13 Jun include a recorded Q&A, featuring Liz Chege (Africa in Motion Festival Director), Dr Aboubakar Sanogo (African cinema expert) and Ivan Mbowa (expert on African financial systems).

Tagged with: Cinema New releases

1968 Senegal Dir Ousmane Sembène 90 min

Please note: the Mandabi screening on Mon 14 Jun does not include the recorded Q&A.


From 17 May (and unless guidance changes) six people or two households of any size can visit together as a group. Until guidance changes, we’ve created socially-distanced seating clusters. Please only sit directly beside someone from your household or support bubble, and avoid moving seats when you arrive, so we can keep a safe distance between you and other groups.

Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of Covid-19. #HereForCulture.

The words 'Here for Culture' in caps, with an outline of a square, corner point roughly north-facing, that ends once it meets the writing
The b&w logo for the BFI Film Audience Network

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