Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Touki Bouki (1973)

Film: Touki Bouki (76/250) 
Critics Poll: 93rd 
Directors Poll: 132nd 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

I was NOT ready for this one. I wasn't ready for such an unconventional type of storytelling, and I definitely wasn't ready for the graphic animal slaughter (seriously, WTF?). I think I was very narrow-minded in what I expected from a film from Senegal. I was thrown off by the ambiguous tone, disgusted by the violence, and really confused during parts of it. Is this really happening? Is this a fantasy sequence? Then I thought about some other films I've seen and admired from other countries that were equally abstract and artistic, and realized that I was just reacting from my own limited point of view. It's an ambitious film, unconcerned with conventionalities, and with real moments of beauty. But seriously, SERIOUSLY, wish the animal slaughter wasn't in the film. Whatever symbolism they were hoping to inject into this film with those shots made me almost lose my lunch. Really hard to watch. But the two characters of Mory and Anta riding on a motorcycle, dreaming of a better life in Paris, that was just sublime. 

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