Mandabi is all about what you can buy and what you can’t buy. How money changes what’s possible or at least what you perceive to be possible.
Ousmane Sembène tells a story about a man whose incidental luck ends up sending him down a path of sorrow and deceit.
When Ibrahim (Makhouredia Gueye) tries to cash in his money order, he runs into people in need of money or people trying to get a cut of the sum.
“This that’s how things are these days, nobody can be trusted”
Ibrahim constantly runs into bureaucratic and human obstacles, keeping him from obtaining his goal. Needing to rely on other people to get what he proves futile, however, without the help of others he gets nothing.
“To tell you the truth, decency has become a sin in this country. And that's why I'm going to become a wolf among wolves”