4 Best Movies to Watch In Wolof

Staff & contributors

Find the best wolof-language movies to watch. These movies in wolof are: highly-rated by critics, highly-rated by viewers, and handpicked by our staff.

, 1992

Restored in 2019, Djibril Diop Mambéty's adaptation of the 1956 play, The Visit, presents a powerful allegory of societal decay through the story of Linguère Ramatou, a woman who returns to her impoverished hometown with an offer that can change everything. Mambéty's skillful direction captures the complexities of human nature and the moral choices we face in a world driven by greed and corruption in a global capitalist world. The narrative unfolds with precision, blending dark humor and piercing social commentary. With or without the context of its original influence, Hyenas is a brilliant Senegalese film.

 

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty

In this hour-long observational documentary, we’re immersed in the day-to-day life of a Senegalese street vendor in Argentina. Following a stint in Spain, Mountakha arrives in Buenos Aires knowing little of the language, facing intimidation from the police, and, thousands of miles away from his wife and children in Dakar, experiencing loneliness and culture shock, too.

He finds some support from fellow migrants — and is able to tap into a connection with home through cultural events laid on by the local Senegalese community — but mostly, he leans on his deep spirituality for strength and guidance. A devout adherent of a Senegalese Sufi saint, he searches for signs of the divine in the bustling streets of Buenos Aires and on the crowded beaches of a resort town as a way to connect his past to the present. Mountakha understands the winding path of his life as “God’s will,” a go-with-the-flow approach that seems to soothe some of his painful pining for Dakar. It’s these peeks into his coping mechanisms and shifting definition of “home” that make Borom Taxi’s single hour feel so expansive.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Candela Benetti, Massamba Seye, Mohamed Boye, Mouhamet Samb, Mountakha Samb

Director: Andrés Guerberoff

Ever wondered how much your life will change when faced with the reality that death is about to come? That’s normal, and not nearly as life-altering as being told you only have a few more moments to live. Because of a terminal illness, Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is driven to this situation and tries to right his wrongs in the wake of modern Barcelona. This melodrama is supercharged by Bardem’s unearthly performance as the story’s only hero, demonstrating the selfless love of a destroyed and dying father to his children – paired with cinematography unlike any other, this film is exceptionally beautiful. Directed by González Iñárritu' (Babel, Birdman, The Revenant).

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Adelfa Calvo, Alain Hernández, Ana Wagener, Cheikh Ndiaye, Cheng Taishen, Diaryatou Daff, Dunia Montenegro, Eduard Fernandez, Félix Cubero, George Chibuikwem Chukwuma, Guillermo Estrella, Hanaa Bouchaib, Isaac Alcayde, Javier Bardem, Jin Luo, Karra Elejalde, Luo Jin, Manolo Solo, Maricel Álvarez, Nasser Saleh, Rubén Ochandiano, Sophie Evans, Taisheng Chen, Tomás del Estal, Violeta Pérez

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Alejandro González Iñárritu

Rating: R

A poetic and peculiar movie from Senegal about a girl who is forced to marry a wealthy businessman instead of her love interest. The latter, a poor construction worker, embarks on a risky journey across the sea to Europe. The story takes a supernatural turn thereafter, one that is unlike anything seen before in stories around immigration, but one which makes sense. Still, the excellent acting and the long takes that immerse you in what life is like in Senegal, both in and out of the margins of society, are the reasons to watch here. Atlantics' characters are believable and will capture your interest throughout the usual and unusual parts of the movie. They provide rare insight into narratives that most of us have never been exposed to.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Actor: Abdou Balde, Amadou Mbow, Amina Kane, Aminata Kane, Arame Fall Faye, Babacar Sylla, Coumba Dieng, Diankou Sembene, Ibrahima Mbaye, Ibrahima Traore, Mama Sane, Mame Bineta Sane, Mariama Gassama, Mati Diop, Nicole Sougou, Traore

Director: Mati Diop

Rating: TV-14