IMDb rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%
In Dakar, Suleiman and his friends stop their work on a skyscraper once and for all because of months of withheld wages. Instead, they take to the sea, looking for a better, brighter future.
Suleiman leaves Ada, the woman he loves, behind, and she has to face her arranged marriage to another man.
But alongside these contemporary social issues, the film delves into the supernatural, and in doing so, as the London Evening Standard writes, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop “practically invents a new genre”.
In December 2019, the film was shortlisted for an Oscar in the International Movie category. It also won the Grand Prize at Cannes in 2019, won for Best Music at Carthage, and has garnered 29 other nominations and won 10 other awards.
It’s also won widespread praise from critics. The Boston Globe says, “[Diop] has woven all these concerns and more into a bewitching and masterful film unlike any you’ve ever seen”; San Francisco Chronicle says, “Like the pounding waves that recur throughout, this is a vibrant and confident feature debut for the director, and her arrival on cinema’s shores signals big things ahead”, and Times UK says, “Yet the film is so convinced of its seriousness and artistic prowess (gorgeous, long and inherently disturbing shots of the ocean abound) that it becomes mildly, and pleasingly, intoxicating.”