A Thousand Suns A Thousand Suns

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Diop, whose Atlantiques and Big in Vietnam were both featured in Wavelengths, has made her most ambitious film yet with this documentary about Magaye Niang, the lead actor of Touki-Bouki, the 1972 classic made by the director's legendary filmmaker uncle Djibril Diop Mambéty. Shot in Dakar and Alaska, Mille Soleils mystifies as it searches for an origin, its lineage and its transcendent deviations, flouting its own premise as fantasy merges with reality: the sad-eyed cattle herder who embodied the seminal role in Touki-Bouki forty years ago is now filled with longing for the vanished past and a future that was never meant to be. A film of haunting beauty, both sensuous and febrile, Mille Soleils is intimate and raw but also refreshingly quixotic, and confirms Mati Diop as a major cinematic talent.

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