Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena) (1973)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena) Photos

Movie Info

Two youngsters attempt to escape what they perceive to be the poverty and backwardness of their native Senegal. In this movie, a boy (Magaye Niang) and a girl (Mareme Niang) try to gather the funds and connections to enable them to move to France. They believe they will find better wages and a better life there. The boy engages in a number of petty thefts to finance his ambitions but in the end cannot leave without a fetish amulet which he has lost somewhere. The girl fares better. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Critic Reviews for Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

Mr. Mambety mixes neo-realism and fantasy to create a mood of unease and aimless longing. The performances are good.

Full Review… | April 2, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

This 1973 first feature by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety is one of the greatest of all African films and almost certainly the most experimental.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

an edgy, energetic ode to youthful idealism and rebellion molded quite clearly on the rough-hewn vibrancy of various European New Waves, particularly the works of Jean-Luc Godard

Full Review… | January 29, 2014
Q Network Film Desk

The final moments here, which simultaneously suggest a return to traditionalism and a new form of globalized alienation, offer open-ended ruminations on Senegal's future role in the world.

Full Review… | August 18, 2012

The film does itself proud with its fantasy images.

Full Review… | August 30, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

August 11, 2005

Audience Reviews for Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena)


A strange, layered film that will likely be seen again before the year is out to see if I can get it anymore, Touki Bouki is the second example of native African cinema I've seen, and I have to say it is a certain kind of wonderful. The cast is likable, and the themes of ones relationship to their roots is an interesting one and is explored with subtly, and it has genuine laugh out loud moments. However, I feel like I didn't get the some parts because I don't have as much knowledge into Senegal's culture. Worth at least a taste, Touki Bouki comes recommended.

Bobby Karmi
Bobby Karmi

Touki Bouki does a great job contrasting the fantasies and expectations of troubled youth with the bleak reality of being poor in post-colonial Senegal, mostly in the style of the French New Wave. Aside from the actual footage of a 1970s Senegalese slaughterhouse, I really liked it.

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

Sometimes hailed as a lost classic, "Touki Bouki" walks a shaky line between charming naivete and sheer technical ineptitude. The pacing is off -- certain scenes last far too long. The exposition is muddled. Ditto for the wobbly use of flashbacks. Two quirky songs are woefully overused in the score. The narrative is disjointed and sometimes defies logic. Still, this Senegalese tale of a girl, a boy, his motorcycle (memorably decorated with an ox skull) and their dream of escaping to Paris likably captures a moment in an intriguing, seldom seen culture. Put this on a double bill with "The Harder They Come" and enjoy a period taste of Third World exotica.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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