Directed by Mati Diop. Senegal 2009, video, color, 15min.
Wolof and French with English subtitles
Directed by Mati Diop. With Alpha Diop, Cheikh M’Baye, Ouli Seck, Serigne Seck
France/Senegal 2009, DCP, color, 15min. Wolof and French with English subtitles
Sitting before a beachside fire, and barely illuminated against the night sky, Serigne (Serigne Seck, appearing as himself) and two friends weigh the dangers of crossing the sea to Europe by pirogue, a small fishing vessel not built for deep water. Faced with unemployment and hunger at home, Serigne argues that there is no choice but to leave, even if it means risking one’s life. “Forget Europe,” a friend urges. “Let’s speak of here, Africa.” Like the shot of a rotating lighthouse lens that concludes the film, their conversation circles itself. There’s talk of family, of sacrifice, and even of magical transformation from man into fish, sometimes little more than voices in the dark. – GY
Big in Vietnam
Directed by Mati Diop. France 2012, video, color, 29 min.
French and Vietnamese with English subtitles
Big in Vietnam
Directed by Mati Diop. With Henriette Nhung, Ghe Büi, Mike N'Guyen
France/Senegal 2012, DCP, color, 29 min. French with English subtitles
Big in Vietnam depicts the making of a film, a Franco-Vietnamese adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons dangereuses. In Big in Vietnam, the production stalls when the lead actor goes missing in the woods, and the director Henriette similarly abandons the set. Leaving the film in the tentative hands of her son, she wanders the streets of Marseille, eventually entering a Vietnamese restaurant. There, in a duet sung with a mysterious man, she finds the sensual quality she had been seeking in her film. As night turns to morning, he tells her stories of home. She asks about a tattoo on his arm, which means “the life far away.” – GY
Directed by Mati Diop. France 2011, 35mm, color, 33 min.
French with English subtitles
Directed by Mati Diop. With Nour Mobarak, Chan Coïc, Alban Guyon, Nilaya Bal
France/Senegal 2011, 35mm, color, 33 min. French with English subtitles
Snow Canon, a coming-of-age story catalyzed by an erotic encounter with an American babysitter, is inspired by events from Diop’s own life, along with touches of the Stendhal short story “Vanina Vanini.” In the film, the teenage Vanina is by turns petulant and curious about the alluring older stranger. At her family’s chalet, the shades are perpetually drawn, creating for the pair a private, sensual world set against the magisterial French Alps outside. – GY