The Australian Cinémathèque presents the new restoration of the quintessential African road movie and a classic of 1970s counter-cultureTouki Bouki.
'Fusing elements of old African tales with the avant-garde sensibilities of French New Wave directors, Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty created Touki Bouki, one of the most startling and distinctive films of African cinema. The film tells the story of two young lovers, Mory and Anta who dream of escaping their dreary existence to a romanticised Paris, where they can start a new life together. They wandered the streets of Dakar to the tune of Josephine Baker singing "Paris, Paris" on the soundtrack, hatching wild schemes to raise money for the tickets and the right Western clothes for their journey. With its mix of primitive and modern imagery, frenetic rhythm, and non-linear narrative, Touki Bouki was unlike any African film the world had ever seen when it was released in 1973. It broke away from the more linear storytelling styles of other African filmmakers like Souleymane Cissé and Ousmane Sembene, and invented a new cinematic language to paint a picture of a nation grappling with neocolonialism and the search for its own identity. Richly symbolic and visually inventive, Touki Bouki received the International Critics Award at Cannes Film Festival and is widely recognised as Mambéty's masterpiece.' Singapore Film Society
Touki Bouki will be screening from recently restored screening materials by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in 2008.