Stream the African classic that inspired Beyonce and Jay-Z’s viral new shoot

Beyonce took to Instagram to announce her new On The Run II stadium tour with Jay-Z, with a striking poster image of the couple on a bull-skull-trimmed motorbike, inspired by Djibril Diop Mambety’s Touki Bouki, a classic Senegalese film from 1973. Her Instagram post racked up over 3m views in under 24 hours.

Available to stream on Showmax in Africa, Touki Bouki is the story of two lovers – a cowherd and a university student – who dream of escaping to Paris from Dakar.

Winner of the FIPRESCI Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, among other awards, Touki Bouki is widely considered a classic of world cinema, regularly appearing on lists like Sight & Sound’s 100 Greatest Films Of All Time and Empire’s 100 Best Films Of World Cinema.

Beyonce’s not the first celebrity to celebrate it. Oscar-winning Martin Scorsese (acclaimed director of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, also on Showmax) hailed Touki Bouki as “something else again… A cinematic poem made with a raw, wild energy… Touki Bouki explodes one image at a time.” Touki Bouki was digitally restored as part of Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.

Watch Scorsese discussing Touki Bouki here:

TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe similarly hailed it as “A favourite. Beautiful. Fully punk.”

More than 40 years after its release, it still has an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The New Yorker praising its “incisive and flamboyant” imagery; The Village Voice calling it “a cult film” and a “fanciful tale of mad love in the noonday sun”; It’s Nice That claiming that it has “the most delicate sex scene ever”; and Basia Lewandowska Cummings calling it “one of my favourite films of all time” in Africa Is A Country.


Watch Touki Bouki now on Showmax »

Don’t have Showmax yet? Start my free trial »