El Hadj is studying in Paris. He is one of the young Senegalese men who have come to Paris since the French colony became independent to get a good education so that he can serve his ... See full summary »
El Hadj is studying in Paris. He is one of the young Senegalese men who have come to Paris since the French colony became independent to get a good education so that he can serve his fatherland on his return. Unexpectedly he is suddenly confronted by a problem with his residence papers, just because he has arranged an extension too late. His pleasant life filled with good prospects has gone in one fell swoop. He faces a dilemma. He can stay illegally in France, the country where he feels at home, where he has his friends, has fallen in love and can drink water from the tap. Or he can return (without graduating) to the 3rd-world country of Senegal to use the knowledge he has acquired. It is not only a practical choice. It comes down to the question of who he is, who he thought he could be. Gomis' impressive feature début looks at the theme of uprooting both on an existential and emotional level. The everyday confrontation with a different culture makes an apparently simple project ... Written by
Amazing and yet amazing that this film is not on DVD!
I saw this at an African film festival in DC in 2002. It follows a history student from Senegal who studies and works in Paris.
Better than La Haine, this film shows the stresses and strains of African expatriates in France. The student wants to get his PhD and return to Senegal to better life there. Everyone else in Paris (natives as well as other Africans) think he just wants to stay in France.
The protagonist is torn between two worlds. The ways of Senegal are now foreign to him, but neither is he European.
There is tension, violence, and sex and a good story. I wish I could show this to more people, but it's not available!!??!
UPDATE: Just found out that it is available for streaming and download at the African Film Library.
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