La pirogue - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La pirogue Reviews

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February 18, 2013
The sheer ordinariness of the journey could be a strength or a weakness. It highlights that this odyssey, harrowing and dangerous as it is, is unexceptional for the people undertaking it. On the other hand, we're never very invested in any of the people so we don't much feel their suffering or loss.
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 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.
January 23, 2013
Una película difícil, esas duras verdades que uno no quiere saber.
Es un poco larga y bastante deprimente.
½ November 12, 2012
Illegal immigrants are a subject of heated discussion all over the developed world. The French-produced movie "La Pirogue" tackles the subject of immigrants crossing the ocean from the African coast to the shores of Spain, a trip taken by many people in small boats, countless of people dying in the effort.

The movie gives us two young protagonists who decide to leave their native Senegal and start anew in Europe. Africa offers no jobs or other hopes for the future. "If we stay here we die," the two men somberly asses. After gathering a considerable amount of money, the youngsters are accepted on a trip. A small boat filled with people with varying backgrounds embarks on a journey that is infinitely dangerous. Things don't go smoothly. Power dynamics, fear, greed, paranoia and a primal fight for survival ensues.

"La Pirogue" is a film with a controvercial subject matter and an extremely heavy thematic landscape. Director Moussa Touré wisely keeps the storytelling from diving too deeply into melodrama, his take is documentary like, subtle, yet effective and plausibly dramatic. The movie manages to make you view faceless immigrants as individuals, a viewpoint dangerously absent from current political discourse, whatever the views presented.

But Touré also takes his film onto higher plains, reaching broader levels of philosophy and illuminating some essentialities of human behavior. This is not a feel-good movie, but its filled with compelling ideas and has a spark of hope somewhere under all those hars truths about our behavior.
October 10, 2012
A different look at illegal immigration. It happens in other parts of the world too, ya know.
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