Touki Bouki

Senegalese director Djibril Diop-Mambéty is considered, along with Ousmane Sembène, one of the founders of African cinema. His 1973 debut Touki Bouki was one of the first to embrace the energy and fire of a new generation of Africans, embodied here by two youngsters dreaming of escaping Senegal for a better life in Europe. Fresh from the countryside, the trickster/grifter Mory and his radicalized friend Anta tool around Dakar on a motorcycle, scheming their way to a new life and encountering visions both real and unreal. A picaresque tale of adventure enlivened by the raw energy of urban Dakar and 1960s global psychedelia, Touki Bouki has been called an African Easy Rider, generous in its embrace of cinematic New Wave traditions, but firmly, proudly of its time and place. “Mambéty, like Sembène, was calling forth a here-and-nowness for Africa,” notes Mark Cousins in Sight and Sound, “a cubist, layered modernity, a filiation untouched by revenge but bustling with recovery.”

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