Irish Film Institute -Touki-Bouki


Departing from the social realism which had characterised African cinema of the 1960s, Djibril Diop Mambety’s Touki-Bouki is a complex and dreamlike narrative that deals with questions of culture, modernity and alienation in urban Africa. It tells the story of a young Senegalese couple, Mory and Anta, who long to escape to France. However, Mory and Anta are portrayed as a sort of African Bonnie and Clyde, who attempt to steal the money that will take them to France. This road movie structure, as well as the dreamlike psychedelic aspect of much of the film, has led critics to cite comparisons with cult films such as Easy Rider and Performance. African critics have argued that the film’s narrative is also deeply embedded within a Senegalese oral traditions. In fact, the title of the film, which means the hyena’s voyage, refers specifically to one of the principal characters of many Senegalese tales, the treacherous hyena. This mixture of Western and African elements makes for a startling and highly original work.

Senegal, 1973.
English subtitles.
89 min.

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