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FESPACO 2013 - Moussa Touré Announces His Next Project Will Focus On Le Joola Tragedy

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 26, 2013 8:11 PM
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While catching up on my FESPACO 2013 clippings from around the web, I found this on Senegalese news website Leral.net (I'm translating using Google, so it's probably a few words off):

After the screening of "La Pirogue", Moussa Touré announced his new film "Le Joola." "I'm putting together a new film about Le Joola; this 9-year old tragedy has affected all Senegalese people. This is what I'm working on. But also, I have a film project "The summit of the mountain" and will be shot in Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso and probably Cape Verde. This is a love story between two people," said Moussa Touré.

This is apparently the first time he's talking about either of these 2 new projects since his last film, the engrossing drama La Pirogue, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last May. It was picked up for distribution by ArtMattan, and played at Film Forum here in NYC for a couple of weeks.

It's obviously also currently screening at FESPACO, where Touré made the above announcement.

It'll be impossible to say more about the latter project - The Summit Of The Mountain - without the director elaborating further himself, since he doesn't really give much away.

But, I can tell you that the first project he mentions, Le Joola, is based on a real-life incident, and will see Touré return to tragedy in the seas, as he did in La Pirogue, although a different kind of tragedy altogether.

In short, MV Le Joola was a Senegalese government-owned ferry that capsized off the coast of Gambia on September 26, 2002. The disaster resulted in the deaths of close to 2,000 people, and is said to have be one of the worst non-military maritime disasters in terms of the number of casualties.

A report published months later concluded that the accident had been caused by overloading (apparently the vessel had a capacity of only about 560 passengers) and negligence on the part of the boat's operators, the Senegalese navy and rescue services.

A decade later, families of those who died are still asking for answers, closure, and waiting for promised governmental support.

The AFP new report below revisits the disaster and its aftermath. Watch it while we wait to learn more about Touré's specific plans - how he intends to tackle to sensitive subject matter, whether looking at it and its impact broadly, or zooming in to focus on a single person or family and their struggles - or both.

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