Sog.: dal dramma La visita della vecchia signora di Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Scen.: Djibril Diop Mambety. F.: Matthias Kälin. M.: Loredana Cristelli. Mus.: Wasis Diop. Int.: Ami Diakhate (Linguère Ramatou), Djibril Diop Mambety, Mansour Diouf (Dramaan), Calgou Fall (il prete), Faly Gueye (Mme. Drameh), Mamadou Mahourédia Gueye (il sindaco), Issa Ramagelissa Samb (il professore), Abdoulaye Diop (il dottore) Prod.: Pierre-Alain Meier, Alain Rozanès per Thelma Film AG. DCP. D.: 110’. Col.
Mambety was to Carthage ’92 what John Ford and Orson Welles had been to Cannes.
I began to make Hyènes when I realized I absolutely had to find one of the characters in Touki Bouki, which I had made twenty years before. This is Anta, the girl who had the courage to leave Africa and cross the Atlantic alone. When I set out to find her again, I had the conviction that I was looking for a character from somewhere in my childhood. I had a vision that I already had encountered this character in a film. Ultimately, I found her in a play called The Visit (1956) by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. I had the freedom and confidence to marry his text with my film and make his story my own.
I am interested in marginalized people, because I believe that they do more for the evolution of a community than the conformists. Marginalized people bring a community into contact with a wider world. […] The film depicts a human drama. My task is to identify the enemy of humankind: money, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. I think my target is clear. While Hyènes tells a human story to the whole world, I also wanted to pay homage to the beauty of Africa when I made the film. For me, part of that beauty is the fact that it is not very difficult to make a film in Africa. The abandoned bags of rice that the people of Colobane wear at the end of the film did not cost much. It was only the equipment for the production that was a little expensive. I have a great desire to demystify cinema – especially the financial aspect of cinema. Africa is rich in cinema, in images. Hollywood could not have made this film, no matter how much money they spent. The future belong to images. […] It is good for the future of cinema that Africa exists. Cinema was born in Africa, because the image itself was born in Africa. The instruments, yes, are European, but the creative necessity and rational exist in our oral tradition. As I say to children, in order to make a film you must only close your eyes and see the image. Open your eyes, and the film is there. Oral tradition is a tradition of images. Imagination creates the images and the images creates cinema, so we are in direct lineage as cinema’s parents.
N. Frank Ukadike, The Hyena’s Last Laugh: A Conversation with Djibril Diop Mambety, “Transition 78”, n. 2, W.E.B. Dubois Institute and Indiana University Press, 1999
Restored in 2018 by Thelma Film AG with the support of Cinémathèque suisse, at Éclair Cinéma from the original negative.