FilmClub will be screening a classic of African cinema, the Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety’s Hyenas. at the Tatham Art Gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, July 5 at 7 pm.
Along with Sembene, Mambety is the second towering figure in African film, notable for his haunting imagery and strong sense of the betrayals that lie behind the ongoing poverty on the continent.
In drought-stricken Africa the impoverished villagers of Colobane are thrilled to hear that the legendary Ramatou – a woman originally from their village and now wealthy beyond measure – is to return, and may bring an end to their suffering with her patronage.
But Ramatou has an agenda of her own; she did not leave the village voluntarily, but fled as a young woman, pregnant and disgraced, and now she is coming back to wreak her revenge on the man who wronged her, and to expose the villagers for the ‘hyenas’ that they are. She will save the village, she says, but she will exact a terrible price.
Widely hailed as one of the fathers of cinema in Africa, Djibril Diop Mambéty is amongst the most innovative and unconventional film-makers of the twentieth century, and Hyenas is an offbeat, evocative fairy-tale of a film – both a hard-hitting political allegory about neo-colonialism and a troubling fable about the nature of all human beings.
It is also exceptionally visually striking, making effective use of the stark expanse of the African landscape, and filled with images that are mesmerising in in their dream-like beauty and strangeness.
Entry is R35 per person and the Tatham Coffee shop will be offering a soup and bread supper from 6pm onwards (at a very reasonable R40 per person). Safe parking is available in the government parking lot next to the gallery.