The people who maintain the status quo are those with power, and those with power are often unwilling to share: with those who are weaker, with those who are younger, with those who are other. The propulsive energy of the film is driven both by that injustice and by the scars it leaves on places and on people, and so the horror, the horror, of Saloum is both timeless and timely.
Herbulot and Diop have made a movie that is bold and exciting, combining bits of reality with outsized myth, in a tale of crime, revenge, and literal monsters, set in a wonderland where it seems anything can happen.
Punctuated by Gregory Corandi’s gliding, God’s-eye shots of meringue-colored desert and placid shoreline, Saloum has the extravagance of fable and folklore. The plot is ludicrously jam-packed, but the pace is fleet and the dialogue has wit and a carefree bounce.