La pirogue Reviews
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.
Es un poco larga y bastante deprimente.
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.