A film that anticipates the director’s fanciful 1973 film Touki-Bouki, Badou Boy is an acerbically humorous portrait of Dakar, Senegal’s capital. Dramatizing the inevitable clash of the iconoclast and the powers that be, the film takes the viewer on a wild chase through the streets of Dakar. Badou Boy, who usually spends his time loitering on city buses, is forced to outrun an overweight policeman nicknamed ‘The Black Dragon.’ As in his other films, Mambety uses a Swarm of colorful characters and improbable situations to create a vibrant romp in the big city. Known for his bold eccentricity, Mambety admits, ‘Badou Boy is a slightly amoral street urchin who resembles me a lot. »
Born the son of a Muslim cleric in Colobane, near Dakar, Senegal, Djibril Diop Mambéty received no formal training in filmmaking. He experimented with theater, but in 1968, he was asked to leave an avant-garde theater group. Shortly thereafter, he made his first film short called Badou Boy (1970), which dealt with the life of a young renegade. By 1973, he directed his first feature, Touki Bouki (1973), about disaffected youth, and it became an instant classic. It would be nearly twenty years before he would create another film, Hyènes (1992), which is considered a sequel to « Touki Bouki » and a parable based on the classic play « The Visit » by Frederich Durrenmatt. Although his films were considered to be politically oriented, Mambéty rejected the realism preferred by most African filmmakers. His films were notable for their dream-like quality that left the themes of his films entirely to the interpretation of the viewer; this was, of course, the desired effect. In spite of the fact that Mambéty only completed a few short films and a meager two full-length features, the quality of his short body of work has rendered him legendary status among African filmmakers and, indeed, the international film community.