Cannes of Hope


Participants of the Cannes International Film Festival are reminded again that the Cannes' city motto  is Qui li ven li vieù,  what means “Those who come never leave” in Provencal. The motto also symbolized a hope of the international filmmaker communities represented and welcomed there often from places that are routinely underexposed to the Western public. The hope is that the Festival will open doors to them and allow them to remain visible on the international scale. The Cannes' Film Festival brings the highest hopes for francophone attention-starved filmmaker communities living in the shadows of 3 big non-francophone *ollywood industry centers in the USA, India and Nigeria.

One of the well known secrets of the Cannes' Film Festival is a quite open dismissal of the Hollywood in spite of a typical for the Hollywood larger-than-life presence on the Cannes' boardwalks through oversize advertising and self-important red-carpet push. But that is understandable: nobody turns sponsors down in this highly commercialized industry; film production is resource- and labor-intensive expensive endeavor that is unaided by the Internet-driven video craze.

One of the hopefuls this year is Moussa Toure, a director, scriptwriter and producer from Senegal. Born in 1958 in Sénégal, Moussa Touré started in the film industry as a technician, soon turned into direction with his first short in 1987 and a first feature in 1991, the multi-awarded Toubab Bi. In 1987 he creates his own production firm Les Films du Crocodile through which he funds several documentaries. His next fiction film TGV (1998) is the talented account of the rickety bus ride between Dakar and Conakry. In 2002 Touré sets up the "Moussa invite" Film Festival in Rufisque, Sénégal, a showcase for African documentaries made by Africans. His recent creation La pirogue (2012), is a striking semi-documentary movie, brilliantly filmed and edited with the efficiency of a Hollywood blockbuster.

In the La pirogue, Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue who, like many of his Senegalese compatriots, dreams of new horizons, where he can earn a better living for his family. When he is offered to captain one of the pirogues that head towards Europe, he reluctantly accepts it, knowing well the dangers that lie ahead. Leading a group of 30 men Baye will face many perils in order to reach the coasts of Europe. La pirogue poster quotes Hemingway's "a man can be destroyed but not defeated" but his another fitting quote comes to mind:

“where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa

Here is more from Moussa Toure: