Touki Bouki


Director: Djibril Diop Mambety

Country: Senegal

Year: 1973

Touki Bouki is what differ what cinema can do as art comparing to literature, music and painting. Because when cinema is not only about story, it’s also about choices. Choosing which scenes should be put into the medium and then editing it as a whole.

Mambety told a story that has been told maybe hundred times before and after, which is about a couple who wants a better life in the future by going abroad to Paris. They are a mischievious couple who was often mocked by the society as good for nothing persons. Their journey to get the money accompanied with beautiful cinematography which sometimes might confuse you because also filled their journey with their dreams, hope, and something about their past. Mambety’s scenes are very rich in meaning, without trying to be preachy or articulate everything by dialogues. A motorcycle with bull horn, symbolizes their pride and also their only valuable property, especially when Mambety shows the guy tied and roped the motorcycle into a tree like a real bull.

Crimes and misdemeanors are done by the couple. Stealing and cheating other people are parts of their lives now, for one purpose, the Dakkar port. A song about Paris is played continously and repeatedly on the background, when they are almost ready to depart in the port. Memories keep coming but hope and dream are also appearing to evoke their existensial angst. Is better future could only happen in France, are we doing the right thing? Those are the questions for the couple as Mambety closes the film beautifully and emotionally rich.


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