Running time 1h 50m | Directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty | Senegal, Switzerland, France, UK | Comedy, drama

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One of the treasures of African cinema, Senegalese master Djibril Diop Mambéty’s long-delayed follow-up to his canonical Touki Bouki, Hyenas is a hallucinatory comic adaptation of Swiss avant-garde writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Visit, which in Mambéty’s version has a now-rich woman returning to her poor desert hometown to propose a deal to the populace: Her fortune, in exchange for the death of the man who years earlier abandoned her and left her with his child. Per its title, a film of sinister, mocking laughter, and a biting satire of a contemporary Senegal whose once-lofty post-colonial dreams have been eroded by western materialism.

New 2K Restoration. Restored in 2018 by Thelma Film AG with the support of Cinémathèque suisse, at Eclair Cinema, from the original negative.

(c) Metrograph Pictures

In Wolof, French, and Japanese with English subtitles

Although the film by the Senegalese director keeps the outlines of the Durrenmatt play intact, the change of locale lends the tale a new political dimension. The vengeance that the richest woman in the world brings to the dusty African village of her birth is an avalanche of irresistible Western paraphernalia that will certainly eradicate the area’s tribal culture….even done so lightly, the film still carries a sting.
Stephen Holden | New York Times | Full review (1992)

A wicked skewering of both the rich and those who seek their handouts.
John DeFore | Hollywood Reporter | Full review

Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1992 film resonates primarily for its lacerating comedic writing and pacing.
Clayton Dillard | Slant | Full review