Final Day! Tuesday, February 5


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$7 Member   $12.50 Regular


Senegal, a West African nation on the Atlantic Ocean, was home to Africa’s greatest movie-maker, Ousmane Sembene. Today, Moussa Touré follows in the master’s footsteps with this drama of 30 men (and one woman, a stowaway) who set out on an illegal 7-day voyage to Spain – making the perilous trip in a pirogue – a boat resembling a vastly oversized dinghy. While sharing a common desire to build a better future, these men hail from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The story grows from a finely delineated mosaic of personalities – reactions to the journey’s mounting danger – that span the emotional panoply of human experience. Touré’s compelling tale says as much about the universal nature of courage and perfidy as it does about the economic realities faced by so many of the world’s people. THE PIROGUE was featured in Cannes 2012, in the Un Certain Regard section.

SENEGAL / FRANCE • 2012 • 87 MINS.



“Critics’ Pick. A remarkably clear-eyed, quietly ambitious film. The most powerful thing about THE PIROGUE is the way it deals with emotionally charged events matter-of-factly, rather than melodramatically.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Click here to read the full review.

“The filmmaker proves a shrewd quick sketch artist, mapping out a half-dozen vivid personalities. What proves most striking are the exactly rendered little moments.”
– Andrew Schenker, Village Voice

“Like Sembene’s work, his film touches, subtly, on issues of faith, feminism and a faltering world economy.”
– Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger

“(A) visceral depiction of migrants, risking everything… with surprisingly beautiful images. THE PIROGUE overachieves to deliver an unexpectedly touching and informative portrait of contemporary West Africa. The resultant aesthetic – shiny but grave, Afropop topical – is alluring.” 
– Jonathan Robbins, Film Comment online

“Frequently gripping. Sketches the travelers’ personalities broadly yet vividly.”
– Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

“Rich with authentic details. A vivid opening sequence.  Toure…like a savvy silent-film director, cast for distinctive faces. The film evocatively contrasts open sea with close-ups. (The musical) compositions are soulful, versatile and, of course, rhythmic… a pungent reminder of what the emigrants will lose, even if they win their bout with the sea.”
– Mark Jenkins, NPR online

“A handsome work. News channels in Europe broadcast stories at least once a week about ill-fated crossings between African and ‘the Old World’… (The film) counters cold statistics with a range of flesh-and-blood characters. (It) succeeds on the strengths of its nicely delineated characters and first-rate production values.”
– Jay Weissberg, Variety

“A colorful and compelling drama. The soundtrack (is) sprinkled with the pretty, sinewy, laidback sounds of Senegal, a nation rightly famous for its vibrant music scene. The divided psyche of a young generation of Africans torn between traditional values and the consumerist whirl of iPhones and satellite television is also nicely evoked, without heavy-handed First World moralizing.”
– Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter