Touki Bouki (1973)

Directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty

A cowherd with a skull-mounted motorcycle and a university student meet in Dakar; put off by life in Senegal, they plan to make money in Paris. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, Mambéty’s film tells the story of Mory (Magaye Niang), a cow herder and Anta (Myriam Niang), a student, attempting to break free from their situation of circumstance. Steadily raising petty cash in order to save to go to Paris and leave their old lives behind, the film is a pertinent study of contemporary Senegal, which boasts an important narrative as well as a revolutionary approach to filmmaking.

France? Nothing good comes of it.


The eccentric spatial and temporal shifts crystallize essentially unresolvable tensions between rural traditions and urban anomie.

Richard Porton

Essential viewing. I can also recommend reading Alexander Fischer's article Reclaiming Josephine Baker in the Filmic Ethnomusicology of Djibril Diop Mambéty after watching this.