Belgium, 2011, 95 Minute Running Time
Program: New Voices/New Visions
Language: French English Sub-Titles
That the hulking and handsome Amadou (a mesmerizing, star-making performance from Issaka Sawadogo), an illegal African immigrant struggling in a coldly impersonal Brussels, introduces himself as “Obama” to the women he meets is one clue that this is not your Dardenne brothers’ neorealist take on the iniquities of European life. Instead, erstwhile avant-garde visual artist Nicolas Provost’s debut, anchored by Sawadogo’s imposing presence, is an unsettling thriller awash in metaphor and mystery that never tips its hand—is the title ironic or something more sinister?—as it limns Amadou’s inexorable descent.
Working illegally on a construction site and squatting with other sans-papiers, Amadou sees a possible opportunity for advancement—or at least good sex—in the person of businesswoman Agnès (Stefania Rocca), whom he begins to follow. When their eventual liaison goes south, Amadou’s disintegrating situation leads him into an escalating cycle of crime and violence.
Never flinching from the realities of his scenario—there is a lot of frank sexuality and deglamourized violence on display—Provost has fashioned a postmodern immigrant’s tale for an increasingly unstable Europe.
DIRECTOR: Nicolas Provost
Producer: Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Olivier Bronckart, Antonino Lombardo, Helena Danielson
Editor: Nico Leunen
Screenwriter: Nicolas Provost, Giordano Gederini, Francois Pirot
Cinematographer: Frank van den Eeden
Music: Evgueini and Sacha Galperine
Principal Cast: Issaka Sawadogo, Stefania Rocca, Serge Riaboukine, Dieudonne Kabongo
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Bac Films - www.bacfilms.com