(Senegal, 1973) by Djibril Diop Mambéty
Written by Djibril Diop Mambéty. Editing: Siro Asteni. Director of Photography: Pap Samba Sow, Georges Bracher. Music: Joséphine Baker, Mado Robin, Aminata Fall. Sound: El Hadji Mbow. Production Company: Cinegrit. Starring: Magaye Niang (Mory), Mareme Niang (Anta), Aminata Fall (Tante Oumy), Ousseynou Diop (Charlie). Running time: 88’. Colour. Language: Wolof with French/English subtitles. From: GTC Paris.
Restored in 2008 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory.
Touki Bouki is a prophetic film. Its portrayal of 1973 Senegalese society is not too different from today’s reality. Hundreds of young Africans die every day at the Strait of Gibraltar trying to reach Europe (Melilla and Ceuta). Who has never heard of that before? All their hardships find their voice in Djibril’s film: the young nomads who think they can cross the desert ocean and find their own lucky star and happiness but are disappointed by the human cruelty they encounter. Touki Bouki is a beautiful, upsetting and unexpected film that makes us question ourselves. What a pleasure and what an achievement for Martin Scorsese’s Foundation to give Djibril Diop Mambéty a second life. To all those who support cinema: bravo! –Souleymane Cissé, May 2008
Notes on the restoration
Touki Bouki has been digitally restored at 2K resolution using the original 35 mm camera and sound negatives provided by the director’s son Teemour Diop Mambéty and preserved at the GTC in Paris. Digital restoration brought the film’s original chromatic elements to light. At the end of the digital process a new 35 mm internegative was produced.