La Pirogue

Moussa Touré

Poignant story about the odyssey of a group of African men who cross the Atlantic on a pirogue, a wooden fishing boat, in an attempt to make it from the Senegalese mainland to prosperous Spain.

Between 2005 and 2010, thousands of Senegalese tried to reach the Spanish islands by crossing the Atlantic, hoping for a better life. As a tribute to the countless boat people who died during the crossing and whose identity has never been established, Senegalese director Moussa Touré filmed the story of the travellers and their hell ride full of hardship. Baye Laye is the captain of the fishing boat. Like many of his Senegalese countrymen, he dreams of a better life, in which he can support his family. He therefore reluctantly accepts the proposal to go to the Canary Islands on a ‘pirogue’, in order to reach prosperous Europe. While acutely aware of the dangers involved in such an enterprise, he sets out on a thousand-mile crossing to escape the poverty and hopelessness of life in Senegal.

Touré’s film, shot in merely two months, was selected for the Un Certain Regard competition at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival.


Moussa Touré
Country of production
France, Senegal, Germany
87 minutes
Spoken language
French, Wolof
Production company
Les Chauves-Souris
World Sales
Memento Films International