Hyenas and America

I found the film particularly interesting for its many references/portrayals of America and American ways.

When Linguere Ramatou returns to her village, “rich as the world bank”, she decides to grant the village an immense but loaded gift.  She agrees to give Colobane 100,000 million dollars in exchange for the killing of the man who courted and impregnated her many years ago, Draman Drameh.  The thought of all this money and the possibility of the lifestyle change that it could bring begins to change the village people.

Draman owns a bar/convenient store in the village.  One of the first changes we see is that people begin to buy items from Draman on credit, an atypical idea for this tiny store.  Two men walk into the “store” talking about how crazy Ramatou’s request is.  One of them makes the comment, “She thinks we’re American who’d kill each other for nothing.”  Soon they realize, that money isn’t “nothing”.  And as the village begins to receive fancy products, materialism grows as does the social commentary on America.

"She think we're Americans who'd kill each other for nothing" (45:10)

"She thinks we're Americans who'd kill each other for nothing" (45:10)

Once Linguere puts a price on Dramaan’s head, the corruptness of the village begins to unfold dramatically. Draman likens the beginning of this corruption and destruction to something American.  In the end, all members of society – from political, religious, and educational speheres become absorbed by the corruptness and ban together to kill Draman.

Many of the things Linguere brings to Colobane could be considered “western” technologies and practices, such as refrigerators, TVs, and fireworks.  In addition, the colorful vibrant images from the carnival/fair/amusement park scenes show the seductive power of these technologies and Linguere’s economic power.

Carnival (1:04:12)

Carnival (1:04:12)

This movie provides a unique viewpoint on the corruption that can unfold in a small village.

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