Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Touré’s La Pirogue (The Pirogue), which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Canne Film Festival this year, and continued to play film festivals all over the world (although none in the USA yet), is set to begin its commercial theatrical run in France, about 2 weeks from today.
Paris-based Rezo Films and Studio 37 will release La Pirogue in theaters, in France, on October 17.
The fact that the film, like many Senegalese films, is a co-production between France and Senegal, probably was of influence on its opening first is France.
Recapping… synopsis on the film, which is described briefly as a story about undocumented immigrants:
La Pirogue is the moving story of a group of Senegalese men who set off for Europe on a simple fishing boat, hoping for a better life. Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue who dreams of earning a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Islands, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing the dangers that lie ahead. Adroitly capturing the dilemmas facing these desperate men, La Pirogue is a powerful depiction of a story that is internationally relevant.
The question now is whether it'll open anywhere else in the world. It should. Although according to IMDBPro, it doesn't have any distributors in any other country but France.
Given its Cannes pedigree, we expected it to make its USA debut at the New York Film Festival (ongoing) but it wasn't in the festival's lineup. We won't be surprised if it ends up at one of the upcoming New York African film festivals – either the African Diaspora International Film Festival, or the New York African Film Festival.
If not, then maybe the Pan African Film Festival.
It's a film that's high on our to-see list, and we'll continue to update you of its travels.
But our readers in France will be able to see it when it opens there on October 17.
All we've seen of the film so far are short clips; Rezo Films cut a new release trailer (the film's first) which is embedded below; although it's for the French release, so it's not subtitled in English. But knowing the story, the images correlate: