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Touki Bouki (1973)

Not Rated | | Drama | 21 October 1976 (Hungary)
Mory, a cowherd, and Anta, a university student, try to make money in order to go to Paris and leave their boring past behind.
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Magaye Niang ...
Mory
Mareme Niang ...
Anta
Aminata Fall ...
Aunt Oumy
Ousseynou Diop ...
Charlie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Herself (voice)
Christoph Colomb
Ndou Labia
Mustapha Ture
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Storyline

Mory, a cowherd who rides a motorcycle mounted with a cow's skull, and Anta, a university student, have met in Dakar, Senegal's capital. Alienated and disaffected with Senegal and Africa, they long to go to Paris and work up different con schemes to raise the money. Mory steals clothing and money from a wealthy gay man who had brought him home, and he and Anta book passage on a ship to France. Written by Don Larsson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 October 1976 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Journey of the Hyena  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is believed to be Africa's first avant-garde film, although Oh, Sun (1970) could also make this claim. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Thousand Suns (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Images of African air
22 January 2015 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

An African film here about youth, about the thirst to escape from a place that parches it and the bike ride through dirt roads out to sea where a ship sails for Europe. But I want to avoid merely a museum visit or an aesthetic token from a faraway place, I want the heart that pounds behind appearances and gives rise to their breeze of color. What heart here?

First are the things he says about the home that is left behind. Symbolic cows being led to slaughter and cut to the young lead riding his motorbike with cow horns on the wheel. A stolen chest, supposedly full of money to pay for a DeGaulle statue but it contains a corpse.

These are the things the filmmaker knows exactly what he wants to say about. They're also the least interesting to watch for me. The young lead being wrestled by leftist students is intercut with cows being wrestled before the slaughter. The dear bike stolen by a savage white man and left broken while he's extracted with merely a broken leg. Not without nuance, but some of it is as didactic as we make fun of Hollywood.

More tantalizing is the journey through these to outrun them, even more so once you realize this is the same journey the filmmaker himself made from that same port. A yearning for freedom, but the desired freedom is a life of material comforts in Europe, what every boy his age would dream about, cafés and girls. Meanwhile the girl meekly tugs along behind her childish man. There's a sense that she quietly yearns for more; but she also feels beautiful in the (stolen) pink suit and red hat, as any girl would. I like films where youth is embraced with its dreams and folly, this is one.

But also a deeper heart, things which the filmmaker doesn't know how to express clearly but vaguely feels stirring. There are a few of these where the surface of the film is rippled by some hidden vortix that seems to rage in the deep, like when the girl thinks he has drowned. If the journey is Godard, this is Pasolini. This might be part of what some reviews note as sloppy technique. True. This is a man still trying to fathom how images can surround a feel.

So this is it here, a journey where as these two lovers flee, they get caught up in situations that tear from them images of who they are and what their surrounding world is like, images the air takes along which become the film. In the end one self is left behind, the one who has not outrun this world.


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