Touki Bouki (1973) Djibril Diop Mambéty

Touki Bouki (1973) aka The Journey of the Hyena

Genre: Road Movie
Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Country: Senegal
Language: Wolof
Subtitles: English (Hardcoded)
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Length: 86mn
File: Dvdrip Mp4 H264 - 640x464 - 25fps - 426mb

Mory, a cowherd who rides a motorcycle mounted with a cow's skull, and Anta, a university student, have met in Dakar, Senegal's capital. Alienated and disaffected with Senegal and Africa, they long to go to Paris and work up different con schemes to raise the money. Mory steals clothing and money from a wealthy gay man who had brought him home, and he and Anta book passage on a ship to France.

Disorienting and at times even a bit schizophrenic, this is an extraordinarily vibrant, pulsating, and eccentric film. Comparisons to the anarchic, jumpy, free-associative style of the French New Wavers are not far off, but there's something much more erotic and carnal in the film's playfulness. The story of self-assured college beauty Anta and her fella - Mory the motorcycle-riding herdsman - starts in Dakar and wistfully wanders toward Paris, the seemingly unattainable city of their dreams. Their get-rich-quick schemes and the breezy, colorful manner in which they unfold are funny and inspired. Along the way, there are sequences of both utter hilarity and genuine depth, although the film does sometimes seem unsure of its many potentially-symbolic representations. But the stylistic narrative and experimental technical aspects are so full of ideas that talk of the film's minor weaknesses seems trivial. The soundtrack is outstanding, full of syncopation and polyrhythms pacing the film and giving a rich texture to the images. And there's constant movement, until the film's denouement where character, story, camera and concept fuse together in common paralysis, where all seems frozen in reflection.


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