Badou Boy. 1970. Senegal. Written and directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty. 4K digital restoration by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and L’Image Retrouvée laboratories in association with Teemour Diop Mambéty. Restoration funded by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO—in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna—to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema; courtesy The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. World Premiere. In French and Wolof; English subtitles. 56 min.
Heralding a brash new wave of postcolonial African cinema, Djibril Diop Mambéty’s short feature Badou Boy has all the irreverence, exuberance, and barbed political satire that would come to define the Senegalese writer-director’s signature films (Touki Bouki, Hyenas, and The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun). Told through a complex interplay of music, post-dubbed dialogue, and percussive editing, the film mixes silent slapstick comedy and clichés of the American Western, following a mischievous scamp—or Chaplinesque Tramp—as he evades corrupt colonial officials and rivals throughout the chaotic streets of Dakar.