A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family's houseboy, ... See full summary »
Shane and June Brown are an American couple honeymooning in Paris in an effort to nurture their new life together, a life complicated by Shane''s mysterious and frequent visits to a medical... See full summary »
Teenage siblings Nenette and Boni were raised apart as a result of their parents' divorce. Their mother, who doted on her son Boni, has died. He works for an interesting couple as a pizza ... See full summary »
Beautiful Daiga has emigrated from Lithuania to Paris and is looking for a place to stay and work. Theo is a struggling musician, and his brother Camille - a transvestite dancer. One of ... See full summary »
Antoine is an accountant, uptight and withdrawn, married to Edith, who picks out his clothes and shoes. He's assigned to a fitness gymnasium for a month to straighten out their books. The ... See full summary »
Les Tetes Brulees play Bikutsi music, an ancient rhythm from the rain- forest region of western Cameroon. Bikutsi is the music of the Beti tribe, traditionally played on a "balafon" and ... See full summary »
A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family's houseboy, Protee - a man of great nobility, intelligence and beauty - and the intricate nature of relationships in a racist society. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
In reflecting on this movie I can think of two others to help put it in perspective. One relatively forgettable but covering the same geography, is Coup de Torchon, the other thousands of miles away and much larger in scope is the unforgettable Indochine. Claire Denis has produced a movie that has some of the grand underpinnings of Indochine, the complex and unspoken relationship between France and her colonial subjects.
I was struck with the dignity of Potee, with his struggle to maintain his dignity among his peers and with his white bosses. I was also struck with the love/hate relationship between him and Aimee. It is the latter that gives the film its driving force, it is the latter that links this movie to Indochine.
One never is sure what motivates everyone, though some of the characters are required of a remembrance of colonialism. It is this cynical side of the story that ties it to Coup de Torchon. Theirs is the more scandalous story, perhaps even more interesting in a depraved way, but Denis gives us a remembrance of how it was with all the tension and unresolved relationships.
The American black who gives the grown up France a ride in the beginning and end of the movie offers yet another interesting side to the confusion that we in the Western world have when we look at Africa. He says that when he came he wanted to call everyone brother. He was coming home, but they just thought him to be a little daft. France, the character and the girl, grew up in Cameroon, but neither fully understands what it is even though they can remember how it was.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?