Open Air: Cult Film and Road Movie Classic “TGV – Express” by MoussaTouré, Thursday, 15 August 2013 at 20h45, Freiluftkino Hasenheide

On Thursday, 15th of August at 20h45 AfricAvenir and Sunugal e.V. invite you to the open air cinema Freiluftkino Hasenheide for the screening of the Cult Film and Road-Movie Classic “TGV-Express” by MoussaTouré. Produced in the mid-nineties “TGV” is one of the most successful African comedies of all times. With perfectly orchestrated dialogues Touré’s brilliantly composed random travel party teasingly and laughingly heads from one allusion to the next. A real highlight of African cinema!

“Moussa Touré, who learned his craft from Tavernier and Truffaut, describes Africa’s transitional situation by showcasing a travelling party. Far from simplifying, rather with many surprising situations, a plausible arsenal of characters and a charmingly outrageous mixture of comedy and tragedy his TGV combines sharp social analysis and political farce. All this is presented in such an entertaining way and with a sweeping soundtrack that the audience, much like in Luis Buñuel “Ascent to heaven”, feels like joining the journey at any time.” 

The film will be screened in collaboration with: Kairos Filmverleih, taz, Zitty, INKOTA-Netzwerk, Planète Métis, Club des amis de RFI, Berlin Poche,, Exberliner, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Radio

Protagonist of this road movie classic is a multicoloured ramshackle bus which connects Conakry to Dakar. His owner and driver “Rambo” has affectionately nicknamed it "TGV Express" like the French high-speed train. But Rambo is in trouble when his next trip seems compromised by the revolt of the Bassari people, who have taken up arms against central power at the border to Guinea. A handful of passengers decide to undertake the trip anyway – among them a fugitive ex-minister, a French ethnologist couple searching for traces of the Mandingo civilisation and two competing Marabouts (spiritual leaders), who despite their astonishing magical capacities are not always able to arrange for enough cooling water. Of course, the bus gets into one adventurous situation after the other and Rambo and his assistant Demba have not little trouble getting their diverse travelling party through all the rigors of the savannah and the political turmoil safely to their destination.

1998: Special Award from the selection committee, ACCT award for best movie, award for best comedy, and award for best leading actor (comedy) at the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur
1998: Audience Award Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg
1999: Audience Award at the Festival in Mailand
2000: Award from the selection committee at the film festival CinemAfrica

About the director Moussa Touré
Born in Dakar, Senegal, MoussaTouré enters the film industry as an electrician, becoming assistant director and finally directing his first own short, “Baram,” in 1987. His first feature, “Toubab Bi,” made in 1991, is honoured with awards at numerous film festivals. In 1987 he founds with Les Films du Crocodile his own production company in Dakar, primarily to finance his documentary works for which he receives numerous awards. In 1997 he directs “TGV Express” which is a real popular success in Africa and wins the Special Jury Prize at the Namur Festival and the Audience Award at the 1998 Mannheim Festival. After further short-, documentary and grand movies, he founds the ’’ Moussa Invite“ film festival in the outskirts of Dakar showcasing African documentaries. In 2011 he is nominated to chair the jury of the documentary film section at FESPACO, the Pan-African film festival in Ouagadougou. His new film “La Pirogue” was premiered at the official selection of the Cannes Festival in 2012 and has since won numerous awards.

Moussa Touré about the Film
“I am African with an African perspective and I make African cinema. […] But not the African cinema Europeans think of, the cinema of folklore, of exotism, of slowness, not that laughing, naïve Africa. I categorically refuse that. I try to make cinema which one can identify with.” Moussa Touré

Press Reviews
“This delightful adventure is also a satirical comedy and a fable that reflects the situation of Western Africa in 1997, the year in which the film was shot – on the necessity of keeping the bus rolling (democracy?) despite the hindrances inevitably set on its path by the holders of traditional authority and the corrupt agents of modern power. MoussaTouré brings us a range of delectable portraits and peppers his tale with a few tasty anecdotes while the film cruises towards its final destination to the tunes of Wasis Diop.” FIFF 2009

“Touré has landed a coup. His TGV succeeds not least because of the brilliantly directed and motivated ensemble of actors but is also one of the most entertaining and intelligent movies from Africa ever shown in our cinemas.” Michael Lang, Zoom 2/99

“The director Moussa Touré presents the diverse travelling community as a microcosm of modern African society with all its contradictions of superstitious beliefs and technology, political emancipation and corruption. Meanwhile he spices up his subject with enough laconic humour that the one and a half hours of the movie pass by like you were sitting in the real TGV.” Andreas Friedrich,

“’TGV-Express’ is an exquisitely colourful and exciting road movie, a successful mix of comedy and melodrama accompanied by Wasis Diop’s beautiful music. The bus drives through a war area and carries a microcosm of the Senegalese society (…). The movie can be read as allegory – but it can also simply be highly amusing. Because “TGV-Express” has a lot to offer: an interesting ensemble of excellently staged characters (acting brilliantly throughout the movie), delectable humour and pragmatism (car repairs with chewing gum!), the wonderful scenery shots and not least the great music. A highlight of African cinema!”

“Somewhere between exemplary chamber drama and relaxed road movie, director Moussa Touré in TGV-Express draws a picture of African societies torn between modernity and tradition. Civil war, drug crimes, religious ritual sacrifices, patriarchal polygamy and emerging emancipation of women – these contradictions collide in the tight space of a minibus without engendering a political tragedy. With a light touch and an incredible sense for bizarre details Moussa Touré stages a Pan-African road movie which also convinces through bright colours and exquisite landscape shots.” Marin Schwickert, Ultimo

 “MoussaTouré has disturbed the cosy African slowness with his movie TGV. […] He is part of a new generation of moviemakers who cater from the world culture of images in the west, east, north or south. A phenomenon critically observed by identity apostles. His and the aim of other moviemakers from different parts of the world is to experiment with the contemporary material found, without dividing it into good or bad through predominant cultural lenses” Radio DRS2

“A movie looking ironically at the conditions in Westafrica and avoiding any folklore which hardly any European or American movie about Africa seems to accomplish.” (Thomas Steinberg, kieze.V., Dessau, 2004)

“The Senegalese director MoussaTouré shows in his movie ‘TGV-Express’ what American or European productions rarely do: the completely normal African absurdity, […] The African road movie gathers momentum with a lot of humour and slapstick and accomplishes in 90 entertaining minutes none less than a contemporary stocktaking of African conditions.” (Tilman Weigele, 2000, Stuttgarter Nachrichten)

“TGV-Express‘ combines flush dramaturgy with tasteful presentation and not least an inconspicuous message. Without resorting to any folklorism or embellishing things Director Touré creates a powerful cinematic language. Meanwhile, the traveling party represents an allegory of African societies in radical transition.” Claus Löser, Tip, Berlin 10/99

“TGV describes a bus journey from Senegal to Guinea in a starkly cheerful manner and at the same time establishes contradictions of African history and presence.” Eva-Maria Lenz, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“By means of wonderful pictures and a careful eye for details, Touré shows the manifold problems of an African state. The great merit and art of the movie is to have ‘packaged’ these issues into the ease and vibrancy of a road movie and to have transformed it into vital optimism.” Stefan Stiglbauer, Multimedia


  • 2012 DIE PIROGE
  • 1998 TGV-EXPRESS
  • 1992 TOUBAB BI


  • 2012 DIOLA
  • 2005 NANGADEF
  • 2004 5X5

Senegal/France 1997, 90 min, 35 mm
D: Moussa Touré, withMakénaDiop, Al HamdouTraoré, Bernard Giraudeau, Joséphine M’Boup
Soundtrack: WasisDiop

Thursday, 15th of August 2013
Admission: 7,00 €
Reductions: Berlinpass, Gildepass, Heavy User Card, Filmreihe-Pass

Freiluftkino Hasenheide
Inside Volkspark Hasenheide, 12049 Berlin-Neukoelln
Access: Hasenheide or Karlsgartenstr.
Metro connection: U7 Hermannplatz/ U8 Boddinstrasse

Tickets and Information
030 – 283 46 03
Ticket Office opens 30 minutes before screening.

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