If you are a person who enjoys international movies, look no further than the Mati Diop directorial – ‘Atlantics‘. The internationally co-produced supernatural romantic drama was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, making Diop the first black woman to direct a film featured in competition at the festival – creating history when the film premiered at Cannes. The film had multiple releases around the world, with the Netflix releasing the film internationally. Check out the film’s trailer at the end of this article.
Similar to the religious, racial, political and/ or social dysphoria one encounters in India, or “as advertised” in the United States through their media and movies, ‘Atlantics’ focuses on the same issues, but it is from the point of view of a young Senegalese woman in her country. Also ghosts. Yup, you read that right. Ghosts.
Of course, a comparison of dysphoria issues between countries doesn’t make much sense as these issues are big in general and they will continue to be big in said countries. This movie just highlights a few of the worst ones found in Senegal… With a few supernatural elements. Common themes such as remorse, family struggles, loss, grief, class struggle, and taking responsibility for one’s action mixed with some specific African issues as such as employment, class, migration, crime and the refugee crisis have been the main takeaways from this film.
‘Atlantics’ or ‘Atlantique’ follows a young Senegalese woman named Ada. She has been betrothed to Omar, a rich young man, but her heart belongs to a young labourer, Souleiman. Just like Ada is struggling to come to terms with her marriage, Souleiman and his fellow labourers have been working for months without pay and they plan to cross the Atlantic sea for better opportunities.
‘Atlantics’ is currently streaming on Netflix in the African language of Wolof with English subtitles.