Linguère Ramatou returns to Colobane, a once charming village now devastated by poverty, with fabulous wealth and a promise to save her people. But tied to this promise is a deadly bargain: the lover who had betrayed a 16-year- old, pregnant Linguère, must be executed. The villagers—over time and through the hardship of daily survival—had long forgotten the incident, and they are at once confused, horrified and outraged. But soon cowardice sets in, shrouded in silence. While appearing to maintain a good moral conscience, the villagers are unable to resist the dazzling array of consumer goods that Linguère has now placed within their reach. On credit, they begin to purchase furniture and appliances—even those meant for houses without electricity!

Completed just a few years before the filmmaker’s passing, Hyenas is a cautionary tale packed with humorous, compassionate yet explosive scenes. Mambéty forges his narrative with humour and paints characters, spaces, dialogues and gestures with breath-taking images in sumptuous colours. He skilfully and playfully sways us back and forth in time, with slots of 19th century pomp followed by 20th century appliances. Desire, materialism and various modern day artefacts come to test the old values of individual dignity and group solidarity, stressing the enduring, almost mythic status of the conflict between avarice and respectability. Hyenas is nothing short of poetry in motion.

Introduced by artist and researcher Layla Gaye

Djibril Diop Mambéty

Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945–1998) was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet. Though he made only two feature films and five short films, they all received international acclaim for their original and experimental cinematic technique and non-linear, unconventional narrative styles.

In 1973, Mambéty released his masterpiece Touki Bouki, a tour de force of narrative and aesthetic innovation. The film, which has been hailed as a classic of African cinema and restored by the World Cinema Project, received the International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival and Special Jury Award at the Moscow Film Festival. After an almost 20 year break in filmmaking, Mambéty returned to the limelight with Hyènes (1992), an adaptation of the Swiss-German writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s satirical play 'The Visit' that transposed the story to Colobane, the town where Mambéty was born.

Filmography

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil, 1998), The Franc (Le Franc, 1995), Hyenas (Hyènes, 1992), Let's Talk, Grandmother (Parlons Grand-mère, 1989), Touki Bouki (1973), Badou Boy (1970), City of Contrasts (Contras’ City, 1969)

Essential Cinema

Feature film 21st Sep · 17:30 (55 mins)

TERROR NULLIUS

Soda_ Jerk

Part political satire, eco-horror and road movie, TERROR NULLIUS is a counterculture film which offers an un-writing of Australian national mythology. Using existing film footage as raw material, the project works entirely within—and against—the official archive in order to achieve a queering and othering of Australian cinema. Envisaged as ‘A Political Revenge Fable In Three Acts’, TERROR NULLIUS is a world in which minorities and animals conspire, and not-so- nice white guys finish last. Where misogynistic remarks are met with the sharp beak of a bird or the jaws of a crocodile, and girl gangs rule the highways. Within this fable, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo schools his young pal Sonny on intersectional feminism, a house is haunted by the spectre of queer Australia, the mystery of Hanging Rock is resolved and a bicentennial celebration is ravaged by flesh-eating sheep.

TERROR NULLIUS lays bare a paradoxical vision of Australia as a nation where idyllic beaches host race-riots, governments poll love-rights and the perils of the natural environment are overshadowed only by the enduring horror of Australia’s myth of ‘terra nullius’. It’s a beautiful, bloody mix of the historical and the speculative, the grindhouse and the art house. Not a definitive counter-narrative but a meticulous ramshackle of connections that delivers an open invitation to a further cultural conversation.

Special Event 22nd Sep · 18:30 (208 mins)

Tales of the Dumpster Kid

Edgar Reitz & Ula Stöckl

BFMAF presents the first UK screening in 40 years of this innovative New German Cinema highlight. The Dumpster Kid (Kristine de Loup), born from a trash can, finds her way through the world, discovering hilarity, ecstasy, cruelty, capitalism and patriarchy along the way. Always wearing a red dress, red tights and Louise Brooks-style black bob, The Dumpster Kid steals, has sex, joins a sideshow and meets Al Capone and d’Artagnan. She is always in danger, yet immortal.

This radical film was never meant to be shown in a cinema; instead, Reitz and Stöckl showed it in pubs. The audience members were encouraged to imbibe heartily and create their own sequence of the film’s 22 episodes. This special ‘pub cinema’ screening will be recreated for this event, an exceedingly rare cinematic treat that you won’t soon forget.

Supported by Goethe-Institut, London

Feature film 23rd Sep · 13:45 (95 mins)

Some Interviews on Personal Matters

Lana Gogoberidze

Some Interviews on Personal Matters is one of the first feminist films of Soviet cinema and comes to Berwick freshly restored by Arsenal Berlin. Lana Gogoberidze’s narrative follows Sofiko, a journalist who interviews a wide range of women about their lives, desires and domestic labour. Laying bare the connections between the private and political in almost documentary style, the film focuses on the struggle between Sofiko’s independence and her obligations towards her own family. A powerful performance by Sofiko Chiaureli—who viewers will recognize from her iconic role in Sergei Parajanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates—is at the center of what is a quite personal film for Lana Gogoberidze, one of three generations of Georgian women filmmakers from her mother Nutsa Gogoberidze (an associate of Eisenstein, Dovzhenko and Mikhail Kalatozov in the 1930s) to her daughter Salome Alexi.