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The Pirogue Photos

Movie Info

African men leave Senegal in a small boat to find a better life in Spain.

Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Pirogue

Critic Reviews for The Pirogue

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4)

  • Dry humor alleviates the feeling of helplessness, whereas the actors, most of them amateurs, authenticate the story's real-world implications.

    June 11, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    August 16, 2013 | Rating: 2/5
  • For all its technical skill and good intentions, the film doesn't quite have enough dramatic momentum to push it over the top.

    August 16, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Tour leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.

    August 15, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The pirogue practice may still be going on, but at least Tour has done his job and has made a strong film in doing it.

    June 17, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 25, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Dry humor alleviates the feeling of helplessness, whereas the actors, most of them amateurs, authenticate the story's real-world implications.

    June 11, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    August 16, 2013 | Rating: 2/5
  • For all its technical skill and good intentions, the film doesn't quite have enough dramatic momentum to push it over the top.

    August 16, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Tour leaves no room for sentimentality in his tale of struggle, which has a lean but adventurous, docudrama look and feel.

    August 15, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Pirogue compensates for its relative simplicity by a remarkable cast, honestly directed to reproduce a vast social tragedy, for which the Great Powers, the former colonial countries, are responsible.

    August 13, 2020 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    November 4, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Pirogue

  • Feb 03, 2013
    Baye Laye(Souleymane Seye Ndiaye) has been recruited by Lansana(Laity Fall) to captain a pirogue to Spain, consisting of thirty men. On the one hand, Baye Laye is reluctant to leave his family behind, but does not feel comfortable with having young Kaba(Babacar Oualy), who dreams of playing soccer in Spain, in charge either. What eventually sways him in going is the increase in the fee. And everything goes smoothly at first at sea even with different tribes being represented, including those from Guinea who have never even seen the open sea before. And then Nafy(Mame Astou Diallo) is discovered as a stowaway. As social drama, "The Pirogue" does its job in shining the light on the plight of those who are desperate enough to risk their lives to make a new life for themselves in Europe. According to the endnote, from 2005 to 2010, 30,000 started out from Africa, with 5,000 dying en route. The point being made here is that even with the most meticulous preparations, some things cannot be accounted for.(Or in other words, there is no such thing as an atheist on the open seas.) Even though a documentary might not have been the best route, this dramatic presentation is far from perfect, either, even as it is well filmed. To be honest, the movie should actually have been longer, as it is rather anticlimactic.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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