By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 3, 2012 at 4:29PM
A film that's high on my to-see list, assuming it comes my way this year, or soon thereafter; as far as I know, it has yet to appear in any Stateside film festival lineup, so I expect that to change in the fall (at least, I hope so; and I hope that the USA festival that gets it first in one that's based in NYC).
Premiering at in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Touré’s La Pirogue (The Pirogue), left Cannes without any distribution, which I'm not terribly shocked by. The filmmaker isn't exactly a household name on the international film scene, even though he's been making films for over 20 years; and the subject matter and POV the film takes are likely of little interest to audiences outside of continental Africa.
But I certainly hope that the strength of the film (it's been reviewed very well across the board by those who saw it at Cannes, and other festivals since then) will sell it, and that it's getting some interest.
Recapping... synopsis on the film, which is described briefly as a story about undocumented immigrants:
La Pirogue is the moving story of a group of Senegalese men who set off for Europe on a simple fishing boat, hoping for a better life. Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue who dreams of earning a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Islands, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing the dangers that lie ahead. Adroitly capturing the dilemmas facing these desperate men, La Pirogue is a powerful depiction of a story that is internationally relevant.
La Pirogue was shot over 2 months earlier last year in Senegal.
Below you'll find your look at the film's official poster, which I dig; and underneath that, you'll find 3 clips from the film and some still images as well. BUT first, here's a new interview with the director I came across today (the only one I've seen thus far that has an English translation) in which the Senegalese filmmaker reveals his inspiration and motivation for making the film, the kind of realism he was going for in telling this particular story that's very much influenced by real-life, the relationship his actors had to the film's subject, testing them on the waters (literally), and more; definitely looking forward to eventually seeing this: