A Senegalese supernatural story about oppression, loss, love and redemption? I was intrigued to watch Atlantics, a beautifully told story directed by French actress and director Mati Diop. She made history when the film premiered at Cannes, becoming the first black woman to direct a film featured In Competition at the festival. It was also submitted as Senegal’s entry to the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars this year. And what a film it was! I felt a plethora of different emotions throughout this poetic and eccentric narrative.
It is a story about Ada (portrayed by Mame Bineta Sane), dealing with the disappearance and loss of the love of her life Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré), who disappeared into sea in search for a better future. The film covers themes of illegal boat migration, sexuality, toxic masculinity, wealth inequality and oppression in such a heartfelt and captivating manner. There’s something truly mesmeric in the colour schemes and images throughout. From the towering and wealthy skyscraper that introduced the film. The supernatural element is driven by the colour palettes throughout and the dark eerie nature of the film. It’s told beautifully and through the lens of a female protagonist, which is great to see. Her character especially is well developed and the acting throughout the film is stellar. It’s an emotive film, poetically told and beautifully shot throughout its 1h47 minute runtime. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
Watch the trailer to Atlantics below. You can watch it on Netflix now!