Master film-maker Djibril Diop Mambety offers a wry reflection on the capacity that national lotteries have to inspire wild hopes and irrational behaviour. It’s always a hard time to be a musician. But what do you do when your rent is six months overdue, your landlord has confiscated your instrument and your government has devalued the Senegalese franc?
For the hard-drinking congoma player Marigo, there’s a simple answer to all these worries, and a straight road ahead to riches: buy a national lottery ticket. And this is no ordinary ticket. It’s the first lottery since the franc was devalued, and it’s taking place at an auspicious time: the first Friday of Ramadan, the annual Muslim fast. Marigo has the good fortune to connect with a lottery ticket-seller, a dwarf with predictive powers. The musician safeguards his ticket by gluing it to a door, with hilarious consequences. Beneath its humour, Le Franc also offers sharp commentary on the lottery tendency in Africa. It won the Golden Tanit Award at the 1994 Carthage film festival.
1995: Fespaco – Best Short film