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Review & Interviews / “The Sandman” (2022) by Steve Achiepo with Moussa Mansaly


With Moussa Mansaly in the title role, The Sandman by Steve Achiepo is a very strong first feature, but not only… The opinion and film review of Bulles de Culture as well as our interview with the director and the actor.


Marked by years in prison, Djo, a parcel deliverer in the Parisian suburbs, lives modestly with his mother with his daughter. One day, an aunt who has just fled the Ivorian conflict arrives at their home with her three children. In a hurry, Djo manages to find them a place. But faced with the growing demand and with the prospect of offering a decent life to his daughter, Djo switches and becomes a sleep dealer.

The Sandman : a very strong first film

By taking head on a subject that is not very cinematic and rarely evoked head-on in the cinema, steve achiepo has certainly not, for his first feature, chosen the easy way.

Nevertheless he nevertheless succeeds with The Sandman to touch us with the story of Djo (Moussa Mansalyterrific), an ex-con living modestly with his mother with his daughter, who by helping a distant cousin to find accommodation, ends up rocking and becoming a sleeper.

It must be said that despite a somewhat academic exhibition and a historical-political anchoring that is surely very personal, the director manages to give a universal scope to his subject, while asking the disturbing questions, and above all by showing the complexity of this abject practice. .

By avoiding locking himself into his subject, he sweeps away the ease that would have consisted of relying on easy Manichaeism and offers both beautiful moments of cinema (often carried by Ophelie Bau) and very strong scenes (especially the one in the cellar).

Note that the film benefits from the support of the Abbé Pierre Foundation which has been fighting for nearly 60 years against substandard housing.

Our opinion ?

Sometimes clumsy and probably somewhat naive, the film The Sandman follows like a humanist thriller, carried by a very cinephile realization.

We salute the actor training of the neo-director steve achiepo which makes him a formidable acting director. Can’t wait for his next achievement because obviously, the boy has things to say about our society…

Video interviews with director Steve Achiepo and actor Moussa Mansaly

Culture Bubbles met, a few days ago in Paris, the director steve achiepo and the actor Moussa Mansalyto whom he entrusted one of the main roles of his first feature, in order to discuss with them The Sandman.

This video meeting can be found at the beginning of the article.

Learn more:

  • The Sandman
    Directed by: Steve Achiepo
    Cast: Moussa Mansaly, Aïssa Maïga, Ophelie Bau, Benoît Magimel
  • Release date France: 02/15/2023
  • Distribution France: The Jokers

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