MoMA Presents: Mati Diop’s A Thousand Suns and Djbril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki

Jan 20–27, 2015


A Thousand Suns. 2013. France. Directed by Mati Diop

Mati Diop (French, b. 1982), who made her stunning acting debut in Claire Denis’s 35 Shots of Rum (2008), is an award-winning filmmaker in her own right. This special weeklong theatrical run—which Diop introduces on January 20—pairs two of her films, Atlantiques (2009) and A Thousand Suns (2013). Both are poetic, sensuous hybrids of fiction and nonfiction that use color, sound, and movement to haunting effect. This weeklong run is a collaboration between MoMA and UniFrance Films, whose new initiative, Young French Cinema, promotes emerging French filmmakers in North America in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Winner of the Best Short Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Atlantiques a spectral tale involving a young man’s treacherous sea migration aboard an overcrowded pirogue from Senegal to Spain. A Thousand Suns is a beguiling portrait of Magaye Niang, the nonprofessional actor who starred in Touki Bouki (1973), a landmark of postcolonial African cinema that was directed by Mati Diop’s uncle, Djbril Diop Mambéty. Forty years later, Niang reflects on the fateful similarities between the restless young cattle herder he played on screen and the Senegalese cowboy he became in reality. Touki Bouki will also be shown three times over the course of the theatrical run, in a new digital restoration by the World Cinema Foundation.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film.

Presented by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in collaboration with UniFrance Films.

  • This film series is part of MoMA Presents.

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