touki bouki film
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Djibril Diop Mambéty
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December 1, 2021
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Touki Bouki, An Incursion in the African Cinema of the 70s

We were not joking around with our love for cinema. This week, we have gone the extra mile to present you with amazing movies. So let us introduce you to ‘Touki Bouki’, a Senegalese work of art.

‘Touki Bouki’, The Journey of The Hyena in Wolof, is a Senegalese drama film, and Djibril Diop Mambéty’s third movie. Released in 1973, it was played at the 1973 Cannes Festival, where it was given the International Critics Award. Not convinced yet? The movie also ranked 52nd in Empire’s ‘The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema’ list of 2010.

So, yes, ‘Touki Bouki’ has become something of an icon. Chances are, you have seen the horns decorating the famous motorcycle of one of the protagonists. And if not, now is the time to redeem yourself.

Set in Dakar, Senegal, the movie tells the story of Anta and Mory. Anta is a student, Mory a charismatic cowherd. Together, they dream of leaving their home country to go to Paris and become someone. The movie follows their journey as they try to obtain the money to embark on a boat for France. But maybe the dream of leaving is not for everyone…

‘Touki Bouki’ is known for its rapid succession of images and cuts and its fast pace, contrasting with traditional African cinema of the period. However, some have argued that it mirrors the African oral tradition. What is certain, is that Djibril birthed a work of art with this piece, and that it changed the face of African cinema.

‘Touki Bouki’ also addresses questions of gender norms and of women’s place in society. Does Anta really need Mory? Whose dream is it, to embark for France? A very interesting take on questions that Westerners often try to answer themselves, without listening to the people most concerned by the matter at hand.

Watch an excerpt down below to discover a world of bright colors and eerie music straight out of the 1970s!


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