15 minutes seems like an eternity in Mati Diop’s short film, “Atlantiques.” The film centers around a campfire conversation between young African men dreaming of a better life, imagining themselves risking a hazardous crossing from Mauritania to Europe in a small vessel called a pirogue. Diop employs surreal cinematography, dark frames where it’s not clear what is happening, and even blank screens with supertitles to achieve a dreamlike state and emphasize the impact of their hopes, desires, and fears.
The 2009 short will be featured Thursday evening, along with two other Diop shorts, “Snow Canon” and “Big in Vietnam,” as part of a three-night program at the Pacific Film Archive , followed by a conversation between Diop and Genevieve Yue. On Friday, Diop’s 2013 feature “A Thousand Suns” will be screened, followed again by a conversation between Yue and the director. The program concludes Saturday with “35 Shots of Rum,” a 2008 French film which showcases Diop’s talents as an actor.
African filmmakers often have a take on cinema which is completely revelatory and unexpected to western audiences, so it is without reservation that Oakulture highly recommends attending one or all of the program’s three nights. >> Buy Tickets