Touki Bouki (1973), Highly Recommended, TSPDT #911

Mory On His Motorcycle

The film follows a cattle rancher named Mory and a university student named Anta who try to escape from Senegal to, as a sound bite of Josephine Baker reminds us throughout the film: Paris, Paris, Paris. Mory sees racism and poverty everyday and it is made explicit that the slaughter of cattle is like the slaughter of blacks–just like the slaughter of sheep in Killer Of Sheep. Anta dates Mory and goes to meetings with supposed revolutionaries. I say supposed, because they are French speaking blacks who resurrect a French colonial practice when they meet Mory.

The French Would Make You Wear A Set Of Horns

After that incident, the two make love and decide to find a way to flee to France. What follows is a mixture of surrealism and a Godard political film. In one part, they try to rob a “charity” wrestling event which is organized by a Senegalese tribe to raise money to build a statue of De Gaulle. There are two boxes to choose from that could have the money: a blue box and a green box. They choose the blue box, take it, and open it to find:

That’s surreal, political, and it’s done with a healthy dose of the anger and vitality present in 1960’s and 1970’s filmmaking. That sequence is also a perfect example of how each separate sequence in the film is done and the film as a whole. In the end, it’s ambiguous. Was it all an impossible dream to get away, the first in what is to be many attempts, or are they trapped? I highly recommend you see it and make up your own mind.

4 thoughts on “Touki Bouki (1973), Highly Recommended, TSPDT #911

  1. I simply ADORE Mambéty, but Touki Bouki was a little hard for me to take. However, his last three films — Hyènes (1992), Le franc (1994), and La petite vendeuse de soleil (1999) — are all unequivocal masterpieces.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s