Martin Scorsese digitally restores Djibril Diop Mambéty’s masterpiece Touki Bouki

The Criterion Collection has just released a new box set and it's a big one. Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project collector's set brings together six classic films from around the world. Among them is Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety's 1973 masterpiece Touki Bouki.

The other films making up the collection include Emilio Gomez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann's Redes (Mexico, 1936), Ritwik Ghatak's A River Called Titas (Bangladesh, 1973), Metin Erksan's Dry Summer (Turkey, 1964), Ahmed El Maanouni's Trances (Morocco, 1981), and Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid (South Korea, 1960). On top of digitally restorations of the six films, the set also includes an introduction from Martin Scorsese, as well as several interviews with pivotal figures in contemporary world cinema on many of the films in the collection. The two that stand out most to me are Abderrahmane Sissako's (La Vie Sur Terre, Bamako, et al.) interview on Mambety and Touki Bouki and Metin Erksan and Fatih Akin's (Head-On, The Edge of Heaven, et al.) conversation around Dry Summer.

The Criterion Collection's website describes Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project itself as follows:

Established by Martin Scorsese in 2007, the World Cinema Project expands the horizons of moviegoers everywhere. The mission of the WCP is to preserve and present marginalized and infrequently screened films from regions generally ill equipped to preserve their own cinema history.

For those who have never seen or heard of Touki Bouki, it is an eccentric film that draws on avant-garde and French New Wave film traditions, all the while remaining completely unique. It tells of the antics of a wayward couple in Dakar who dream of one day making it to Paris. The film was recently featured on Sight & Sound magazine's Top 100 list of the greatest films of all time. Read Basia's review here.

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