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Derin Ajao
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Derin Ajao (Africiné)

Moussa Touré, filmmaker

Souleymane Sèye Ndiaye (Baye Laye, main role).

The Captain Baye Laye (Souleymane Sèye NDiaye)

La Pirogue

La Pirogue

La Pirogue

Depuis le Sud



La Pirogue, by Moussa Touré (Senegal, 2012)
Migrant emotions
Fespaco 2013

Well-told stories of true grit are rare in African cinema. Depicting one of life's harshest conditions in the most beautiful cinematic style, Moussa Touré delivers a masterpiece with La Pirogue.

Trailer: LA PIROGUE (wolof, with English subtitles)

Set in a Senegalese fishing village, La Pirogue unravels on the trail of thirty intending migrants aboard a boat to Spain's Canary Islands. In its running time of 87 minutes, the film takes the viewer on a cruise that never drags.
Souleymane Seye Ndiaye plays Baye Laye, the film's male lead, takes on his role with the strength and presence it deserves. Initially reluctant to board the boat, Baye eventually accepts and his navigation skills are put to test on the hard trip he undertakes with an eclectic group of experienced and non-experienced sea-farers. How many of them will survive the crossing and fulfil their dreams of a better life is up to chance alone. As close as they are to shore, there is a strong foreboding of tragedy. Nonetheless, La Pirogue maintains a lively tone, with the boat's passengers breaking into song and dance on a whim.

Touré's La Pirogue (also called "Goor Fitt") is a story of survival, where in spite of the characters' bumpy ride; the story is emotional and thrilling. Showing his deft mastery of the camera as a narrative tool, Touré, who also previously directed TGV and Toubab Bi, is at his best in La Pirogue.
He tells the familiar story of South to West migration in a much more unique way. Few African directors have tackled sea storms; however, Toure brings some grace to it with scenes that hold their own against Ang Lee's well-received Life of Pi, minus the Bengali Tiger, of course.

He introduces us to Baye's existence prior to the voyage with close-ups into his work, his family life and his passion for wrestling. The film opens with an intensely-portrayed wrestling scene suffused with energy and brawn; a pointer to the will of the inhabitants of the fishing village: people who are not scared to take on unfamiliar seas despite the anticipated dangers. This much is obvious in the resilience of the film's talented band of actors, including Ndiaye, who display a range of emotional extremes that reflect their encounters with dementia, disease, and death.

La Pirogue is not new to praise. Having received much acclaim across international festivals, it is little wonder that the same feelings are evoked here at FESPACO 2013, where the film is in official competition for the festival's top prize Golden Stallion of Yennanga.

Aderinsola Ajao

Article written during the Workshop "Bulletin Africiné" - Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), FESPACO 2013. Published in Africiné n°19 (Ouaga), Thursday 28th february, 2013, p. 2.
This Bulletin is edited by the African Federation of Film Critics (AFFC, Dakar) with the support of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Africultures, French Embassy in Senegal and Algeria, Goethe Institut in South Africa and Nigeria, Ministry of Culture (Tunisia), Institut Gabonais de l'Image et du Son (IGIS), Vanuit het Zuiden (Depuis le Sud) Association and Fespaco. It's written by journalists members of AFFC in attendance at Fespaco 2013, from 15 African countries.

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   liens films

Pirogue (La) 2011
Moussa Touré

   liens artistes

Bouchet David

Ndiaye Souleymane Sèye

Névé Eric

Touré Moussa


16/05/2012 > 27/05/2012
festival |France |
Festival de Cannes 2012
65e édition.

16/05/2012 > 27/05/2012
festival |France |
Festival de Cannes 2012 : le Pavillon "les Cinémas du Monde"
Une délégation de 10 jeunes réalisateurs des pays du Sud sous le parrainage de Maria de Medeiros et Elia Suleiman.

23/02/2013 > 02/03/2013
festival |Burkina Faso |
FESPACO 2013 (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou)
23e édition. Thème : "Cinéma africain et politiques publiques en Afrique".

20/03/2014 > 29/03/2014
festival |Ghana |
Accra Francophone Film Festival 2014
2ème édition du Festival du Film Francophone d'Accra.

30/06/2015 > 06/07/2015
cycle de cinéma |France |
Une semaine Eurafricaine au cinéma 2015
1ère édition.

   liens structures

Africa N°1
France | Paris

France | Les Pilles

Arte France cinéma
France | Issy-les-Moulineaux

Astou Films

Chauve-souris (La)
France | PARIS

Fédération Africaine de la Critique Cinématographique (FACC)
Sénégal | Dakar

Institut Gabonais de l'Image et du Son (IGIS)

Ministère de la culture et de la sauvegarde du patrimoine (Tunisie)
Tunisie | TUNIS

Ministère des Affaires étrangères (France)
France | Paris

Moa Distribution

Orange Studio
France | PARIS

Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF)
France | PARIS

Rezo films
France | PARIS

Vanuit het Zuiden (Depuis le Sud)

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LA PIROGUE de Moussa Touré
bande annonce


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