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La pirogue Reviews

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation

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.

Full Review Source: The Nation

November 4, 2013
Doug Kim
Seattle Times
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Touré leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 15, 2013
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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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.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 17, 2013
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Director Moussa Touré's allegorical underpinning transforms this rather predictable plot, ripped from familiar headlines around the world, into a decidedly Senegalese story.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

January 25, 2013
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

January 25, 2013
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 5/5

January 24, 2013
Nora Lee Mandel

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.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 8/10

January 23, 2013
Andrew Schenker
Village Voice
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Given the film's neo-neorealist imperative, the real achievement here is affecting detail within an observational approach.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 23, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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[It] touches, subtly, on issues of faith, feminism and a faltering world economy.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

January 23, 2013
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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A remarkably cleareyed, quietly ambitious film ...

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

January 22, 2013
Mark Jenkins
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What distinguishes it is not the depiction of danger and loss at sea, but a deep understanding of West African culture. Unlike such glib Hollywood issue pictures as Blood Diamond, The Pirogue is rich with authentic details.

Full Review Source: NPR

January 22, 2013
Louis Proyect

Politically powerful neorealist treatment on Senegalese "boat people" done with a poet's touch.

Full Review Source:

January 18, 2013
Kam Williams

A compelling cross of Life of Pi and Lifeboat, a seafaring tale of survival sans the Bengal tiger and Tallulah Bankhead.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 18, 2013
Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter
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This universal story could easily serve as a dramatically gripping primer on topical immigration issues to schoolchildren across the globe, from Arizona to Afghanistan.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 21, 2012
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto

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.

Full Review Source: NOW Toronto | Original Score: 2/5

August 16, 2013
Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
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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.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 16, 2013
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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There's enough filmmaking talent evident throughout that you wish the journey were more satisfying overall.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

January 23, 2013
Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 19, 2013
Jay Weissberg
Top Critic IconTop Critic
May 22, 2012
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