La pirogue (2013)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 172
Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. Like many of his Senegalese compatriots, he sometimes dreams of new horizons, where he can earn a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing full-well the dangers that lie ahead. Leading a group of 30 men who don't all speak the same language, some of whom have never seen the sea, Baye Laye will confront many perils in order
Jan 23, 2013 Limited
ArtMattan Productions - Official Site
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For all its technical skill and good intentions, the film doesn't quite have enough dramatic momentum to push it over the top.
Touré leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.
The pirogue practice may still be going on, but at least Touré has done his job and has made a strong film in doing it.
It's as sadly repetitive a story for Europe as it is for the US: would-be immigrants risking all for a better opportunity elsewhere.
Every moment feels human and true, from the naive optimism of the trip's sendoff to its unsparingly realistic conclusion, which trades reckless hope for quiet honor.
Given the film's neo-neorealist imperative, the real achievement here is affecting detail within an observational approach.
La Pirogue is small compared with most Euro-American productions and has its vulnerabilities -- but its makers trusted it to do the big job of carrying the story of African emigration, and it has come through beautifully.
The storms, quarrels and casualties don't make any emotional waves since they are clinically checked off, as if the filmmakers themselves recognize the predictability of it all and would rather just hurry on to the gloomy finale we all see coming.
Director Moussa Touré's allegorical underpinning transforms this rather predictable plot, ripped from familiar headlines around the world, into a decidedly Senegalese story.
A key to the realism is tribal and linguistic diversity so often ignored in films about Africans. . memorably captures the staggering determination it takes to go to Europe.
Moussa Touré's worldview, like Ousmane Sembene's, is characterized by the feeling that, at the end of the day, some degree of loss or defeat is inevitable.
Politically powerful neorealist treatment on Senegalese "boat people" done with a poet's touch.
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