The first black female director ever selected for the main competition in Cannes, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop delivers a beautiful re-reading of Homer’s Odyssey. Two lovers are separated by the ocean and fate: Souleiman leaves his beloved Ada in Dakar, not to go to war but to search for fortune in Europe. Ada waits for him, tormented by her longing for Souleiman and an annoying suitor.
These young people in Senegal's capital are desperately tied to their materialistic dreams. Diop captures their feverish needs in the rhythm of different genres: social chronicle, urban exploration, police investigation and ghost story. Above all, Atlantique's dark romanticism not only raises the dead but also addresses burning social issues, while aptly mapping male and female bodies against the beaches and colossal construction sites of Dakar as shapes poetically stretching to the skies and seas. As part of Critics’ Choice, the screening on Fri 24 Jan, 16:15 will be preceded by a video essay from Patricia Pisters.