Hyenas (1992) Review

Verdict: Dry

Good story but with bland scenes and acting.


A Senegalese village finds itself falling further into poverty and has its hopes raised when they hear that Linguere Ramatou (Ami Diakhate) is returning with a huge amount of wealth. They appoint Dramaan (Mansour Diouf) as the new mayor to welcome Ramatou back to the village, based on his history with her. However Ramatou is willing to give her millions to them, only on one condition. Directed by Djibril Diop Mambety.

The film has a pretty slow tempo but the story it tells has some great meaning behind it. Ramatou represents the Western capitalist ideology and the Senegalese village a cultural way of living. When the villagers slowly rid themselves of their cultural values, they can be seen as ‘selling out’ to the western values, that which Ramatou represents with her wealth.

Quite a lot of scenes seem pretty random to me in this film, and I did not understand what they represented. Also, the montage with the hyenas could probably have been cut down. One or two juxtapositions would be enough to make that connection strong, but too many clips of the hyenas in the wilderness just increased the distance of the film for me. Though the last scene did make me curiouser and curiouser, it was well done.

The acting felt pretty dry too. There didn’t seem to be that much emotion behind many of the characters, and the speech was a little awkward. I know this might be a cultural way of speech but it felt too spaced out. For example Dramaan would wait 5-10 seconds before replying or saying something while the camera is on him.

Overall it is a pretty interesting film with many intriguing aspects but just dry.

To sum-up:
PROS: Story and it’s meaning
CONS: Acting, random scenes, dry

I give this a 5/10.

Have you seen Hyenas? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!

P.S. It is listed as a comedy in IMDb so that’s why I put it in my comedy category, though I do not think I laughed at all during the film.


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