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date: 09 December 2019

Mambety, Djibril Dioplocked

(b Colobane, Jan 1945; d Paris, July 23, 1998).
  • Jennie Carlisle


(b Colobane, Jan 1945; d Paris, July 23, 1998).

Senegalese film maker. Over the course of his brief career Mambety developed a body of work remarkable for its poetic sensibility and narrative complexities. His films register many of the same concerns as his West African film-making contemporaries Ousmane Sembene and Souleymane Cissé (b 1940), namely, the friction between tradition and modernity, the corruption and bad faith of neo-colonialism, and the inheritance of capitalist modernity by West African societies. Thus his films can similarly be understood in the critical context of Third Cinema. His work uniquely eschews a readily identifiable political perspective in favour of highlighting the ambiguities of life in Senegal. Mambety likened his role as a film maker to a griot: a storyteller and visionary actively shaping the future through imagination and wisdom. Essential to this role was a commitment to challenging the public through experimentation at the level of film form and content.

Raised by a Muslim cleric in the Lebou community of Colobane, Mambety turned his attention to film after acting as a teenager with the Théâtre national Daniel-Sorano in Dakar. Though self-taught, he began his career to critical acclaim with the short films ...

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