6 user 46 critic

Atlantics (2019)

Atlantique (original title)
TV-14 | | Drama | 29 November 2019 (USA)
1:56 | Trailer
In a popular suburb of Dakar, workers on the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country by the ocean for a better future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, promised to another.


Mati Diop


Mati Diop (screenplay by), Olivier Demangel (screenplay by)
360 ( 1,657)
10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Abdou Balde Abdou Balde ... Cheikh
Coumba Dieng Coumba Dieng
Omar Dieng Omar Dieng ... Pere D'Omar
Matar Diouf Matar Diouf ... Policier 'Pierre'
Arame Fall Faye Arame Fall Faye ... Mere Ada
Aminata Kane Aminata Kane ... Fanta
Asta Kane Asta Kane ... Mere Fanta
Ibrahima Mbaye ... Moustapha
Amadou Mbow ... Issa
Babacar Samba Babacar Samba ... Pere Ada
Mame Bineta Sane ... Ada
Diankou Sembene Diankou Sembene ... Mr. Ndiaye
Ya Arame Mousse Sene Ya Arame Mousse Sene ... Grand Mere Ada
Nicole Sougou Nicole Sougou ... Dior
Babacar Sylla Babacar Sylla ... Omar


In a popular suburb of Dakar, workers on the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country by the ocean for a better future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, promised to another.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »



France | Senegal | Belgium


Wolof | French | English

Release Date:

29 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atlantics See more »

Filming Locations:

Dakar, Senegal See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mati Diop, with her submission of "Atlantics" to the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, is the first black woman director in history to compete in the festival's competition. (NYT 5/22/19) See more »

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User Reviews

very feminine film which this man enjoyed
20 October 2019 | by trpuk1968See all my reviews

Maybe a little slow for some however worked well and rewarded my patience. Far from being confused as to what genre it is, it seemed pretty clear to me it's a love / ghost story set in contemporary Dakar, Senegal. There's something of a social commentary / realist element and for me it was interesting opening a window on to the lives of young Senegalese women, as well as the customs of an Islamic marriage in West Africa. There's a nice shot of the girls walking along the beach, dressed up to go to the bar, very much like their contemporaries would in any other major city - they wouldn't look out of place in Manchester say and that connecting felt nice, emphasising how much more we have in common than the differences.

There's repeating shots of a misty sea - the sea in Freudian terms symbolises the mother. The central character, a young woman getting married with the expectations of eventual motherhood. If the sea here is the mother it's also the cause of death - her true love, not the man she'll be marrying, has apparently become one of the many drowned in the mediterranean, making the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe in the hope of a better life. In death is life and so on. This is a movie working more on symbolism and allusion rather than straightforward narrative arc. The sterility of a marriage built upon status and material possessions is contrasted with the vitality of a relationship built upon truth and love - the emptiness of the marriage bed, the sterility of the white room, the bland surroundings of the upscale bar where Omar drinks fruit juice from a straw, child like, perhaps a comment about the infantilising of the supposedly sophisticated.

The director produces something properly cinematic with superb composition, backed up with a marvellous synthesizer score, some very nice moody shots of the city at night. This film works best on mood and atmosphere, attempts at shoe horning it into the conventions of narrative are liable to be frustrated. You need to open yourself up and try to empathise with the character, the lead actress is fantastic in the emotions she conveys through expression and body language. It's a film using the language of cinema as I say, symbolism, allusion. You need to 'feel' this film I think, it will frustrate intellectual analysis and to do so misses the point. It's there to be experienced. It won't be for everyone. Still, I'm delighted to see the torch of the art movie now carried forward by a female Senegalese director and her team who can rightfully take their place in a distinguished canon of Senegalese and indeed African film artists.

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