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Atlantics(Atlantique)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France, Senegal, Belgium

2019

Rated PG-13 • 1h 44m

Director Mati Diop

Starring Ibrahima Traore, Mame Bineta Sane, Aminata Kane

Genre Drama, Romance

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In Dakar, seventeen-year-old Ada is in love with Souleiman, a construction worker, but she has been promised to another. Souleiman and his coworkers quit work on a skyscraper and head to sea in search of better jobs. When their ship disappears, no one expects to see them again—but they will return, for revenge and for lost love.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

83

The Playlist by

It bears the aesthetic and thematic hallmarks of an expertly rendered film with an impressively nuanced subjectivity.
67

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Atlantics is most successful as a look at a particular milieu, which makes one wonder if Diop might have been better off just making a longer nonfiction film on the subject.
90

Screen Daily by Allan Hunter

An intense romance notable for the craft of the filmmaking and Diop’s original approach to complex issues of love, loss and the forces for change that can rise from the ashes of tragedy.
70

TheWrap by Ben Croll

If the narrative can sometimes wane, the film’s enveloping atmospherics remain tight throughout.
83

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Diop’s first feature doesn’t always fit together from a narrative perspective, but it musters such an absorbing vision of an alienated seaside life that not everything needs to add up for the atmosphere to take hold.
60

Variety by Jay Weissberg

The result offers mixed levels of satisfaction, most successful in capturing the protagonist’s leap into adulthood and her increasing reliance on the forthright, independent-minded women around her.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin

A lot of ideas about class, post-imperialism and spiritual values peek up out of the surface of the text, but they're not developed with much rigor compared to what Diop conjured with more intensity and less time in A Thousand Suns. All the same, this is a striking work.
80

CineVue by Martyn Conterio

It doesn’t quite click, is too weird, leads to a lurch from one cinematic style to the other and fails to gel as a satisfying whole. Yet the director’s imaginative intention is apparent in the first shot.
80

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Atlantique may not be perfect, but I admired the way that Diop did not simply submit to the realist mode expected from this kind of material, and yet neither did she go into a cliched magic-realist mode, nor make the romantic story the film’s obvious centre. Her film has a seductive mystery.
100

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

It has a slippery elegance, an ambitious way of nudging its nose into magic realism, and some unforgettable images.

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