Touki bouki

Senegal 1973. Dir: Djibril Diop Mambéty. 89 min. DCP

“A cinematic poem made with a raw, wild energy.”

Touki bouki is the one African movie that will survive the test of time and forever be relevant. It is a unique film, as unique as Mambéty himself.”

The only African entry in BBC’s 2018 poll of greatest foreign-language (i.e. non-English-language) films, legendary Senegalese auteur Djibril Diop Mambéty’s first feature is a truly watershed work in African cinema. Eschewing the neorealist approach favoured by “Father of African Film” Ousmane Sembène, Mambéty instead drew inspiration from the exuberant French New Wave — most patently, peak Godard — for this radical lovers-on-the-lam debut, a vivid mashup of Pierrot le fou and Wolof culture. Mory and Anta are young lovers and outcasts who envision fuller, freer lives in Europe, a land of imagined prosperity. Straddling a motorcycle emblazoned with zebu horns, the couple embark on a looting spree across Dakar to fund their escape. The frenetic editing, splashes of surrealism, and outré soundtrack heralded Mambéty as a revolutionary in world cinema. International Critics’ Prize, Cannes 1973. In Wolof with English subtitles.

Advisory: Touki bouki contains graphic scenes of animal slaughter.

Djibril Diop Mambéty × 2 | Touki bouki screens in a double bill with its 1992 spiritual sequel Hyenas, now newly restored.



"A revolutionary work both in its futuristic themes and its innovative style ... One of Africa’s finest films."

BBC | full review

"One of the greatest of all African films and almost certainly the most experimental ... Beautifully shot and strikingly conceived."

Chicago Reader | full review