For all its technical skill and good intentions, the film doesn't quite have enough dramatic momentum to push it over the top.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Touré leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 5/5
Given the film's neo-neorealist imperative, the real achievement here is affecting detail within an observational approach.
[It] touches, subtly, on issues of faith, feminism and a faltering world economy.
There's enough filmmaking talent evident throughout that you wish the journey were more satisfying overall.
| Original Score: 3/5
A remarkably cleareyed, quietly ambitious film ...
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
This universal story could easily serve as a dramatically gripping primer on topical immigration issues to schoolchildren across the globe, from Arizona to Afghanistan.