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Director of ‘Atlantics’ On How She Merged Migration With

French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop’s first movie was a documentary quick concerning the African males who made the damaging sea crossing to Spain. “Atlantiques” made the rounds of worldwide movie festivals and established Diop as a director when it debuted in 2009, however the subject material by no means left her. She felt she needed to return to it for her first characteristic movie, the similarly-named “Atlantics,” with out the narrative constraints of the documentary style — so she turned to the supernatural.

“Migration was a theme that was both so personal to me and the only thing that I thought was worth spending years to talk about,” stated Diop, discussing the 2019 movie as a part of TheWrap’s Awards and Foreign Screening Series on Tuesday night time. “I think that the youth who lost their lives while trying to reach Spain really haunted me.”

“Atlantics,” which was awarded the Grand Prix on the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, takes Diop’s sense of hauntedness actually, displaying the ghosts of disappeared migrants again on the streets of Dakar. 

The magical realist love story focuses on Ada (Mama Sané), a 17-year-old woman who grieves for her secret lover Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré) whereas making an attempt to take care of an organized marriage to a different man. Souleiman was a part of a development crew that disappeared at sea one night time looking for a greater life overseas. When the aggrieved staff come again as possessive spirits looking for retribution for his or her unpaid labor, Souleiman returns to see Ada one final time. 

“I decided that this film about lost youth had to be a ghost film,” Diop instructed TheWrap on the Landmark Theatres in Los Angeles. But regardless of portraying dying as a central theme, she felt it was essential “to tell the story of the lost, disappeared youth through the perspective of the living…I wanted to talk about the odyssey of Penelope, not of Ulysses.”

Diop discovered a key collaborator in digital composer Fatima Al Qadiri, who wrote her first movie rating for “Atlantics.” Al Qadiri was born in Senegal and grew up in Kuwait, and stated she felt an instantaneous connection to the challenge. “I knew that the themes she was tackling were my territory,” stated Al Qadiri on the screening.

Last month, “Atlantics” was chosen by Senegal because the nation’s submission for Best International Feature Film Oscar consideration. If nominated, it is going to be the primary Senegalese movie to compete for the award. Diop, who grew up in Paris, sees the movie as a bit of African illustration that she by no means noticed as a youngster within the West.

“I missed a lot of black characters and representations in cinema…I wanted to make the films that I thought were missing out there,” stated Diop. The fantastical components of the movie had been a key side of this illustration.

“That was very important to me, to really push the fiction very high because Africa has been really imprisoned in documentary, reportage and TV, in everything but romance and fiction,” stated Diop.

Netflix acquired the movie at Cannes, and can launch it in choose theaters on Nov. 15 and on the streaming service on Nov. 29. 

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