La pirogue Reviews

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Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine
January 19, 2013
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
August 16, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
January 23, 2013
There's enough filmmaking talent evident throughout that you wish the journey were more satisfying overall.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
August 16, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
January 25, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew Schenker
Village Voice
January 23, 2013
Given the film's neo-neorealist imperative, the real achievement here is affecting detail within an observational approach.
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
January 23, 2013
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 | Original Score: 8/10
Kam Williams
AALBC.com
January 18, 2013
A compelling cross of Life of Pi and Lifeboat, a seafaring tale of survival sans the Bengal tiger and Tallulah Bankhead.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 22, 2013
A remarkably cleareyed, quietly ambitious film ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 23, 2013
[It] touches, subtly, on issues of faith, feminism and a faltering world economy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter
May 21, 2012
This universal story could easily serve as a dramatically gripping primer on topical immigration issues to schoolchildren across the globe, from Arizona to Afghanistan.
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 18, 2013
Politically powerful neorealist treatment on Senegalese "boat people" done with a poet's touch.
Top Critic
January 22, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
January 24, 2013
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 | Original Score: 5/5
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
January 25, 2013
Director Moussa Touré's allegorical underpinning transforms this rather predictable plot, ripped from familiar headlines around the world, into a decidedly Senegalese story.
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Doug Kim
Seattle Times
August 15, 2013
Touré leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
November 4, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Jay Weissberg
Variety
May 22, 2012
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