films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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2019 / 106m - Senegal
Romance, Mystery
Atlantics poster

An interesting film. Mati Dop swings Senegalese cinema in a European arthouse direction. With some fantastical elements that find their footing during the second half of the film, she steers clear of a purer drama, but the genre elements end up feeling a bit underwhelming and don't do enough to really set Atlantics apart from its peers.

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Fleeing Dakar, hoping for a better future, Souleiman and a few others take the boat to Spain. The bodies of his companions wash ashore some time later, but Souleiman's corpse isn't among them. Ada, his lover, keeps faith that her man is still alive, even though she is arranged to marry an older gentleman.

The soundtrack and the ghostly apparitions that creep up in the second half of the film add an otherworldly feel, which I hadn't really seen before in an African film. The drama isn't all that interesting though and the mystery is never quite as enveloping as it could've been. It's a decent enough attempt, but the execution needed to be better for it to be fully successful.