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Run escapes... He just killed the Prime Minister of his country. In order to do so, he had to act as if he was a crazy man, wandering through the city. His life comes back by flashes ; his childhood with Tourou when his dream was to become a rain miracle-worker, his adventures with Gladys the eater, and his past as a young member of militia, in the heart of the politic and military conflict in Ivory Coast. All those lives, Run didn't choose them. Everytime, he felt in by running from another life. That's the reason why his name's Run. Written by
Not much about politics in Ivory Coast but rather the adventurous life of someone with the appropriate name Run
I saw this film at the Film Fest Ghent 2014, where it was part of the Global Cinema track. Film festivals offer a perfect opportunity to get an inside view in countries you only hear about when something newsworthy is happening, which can be either a disaster or a revolution. However, those newsworthy events seldomly inform about the country and the people living there, unless really needed to explain its politics. So I habitually book tickets for festival films with a certain promise to show how people live in far-away countries, their situation, what they believe in, and what their future is.
This film does not provide for more insight in the politics of a country in turmoil for many years. It only has a background role to serve as tapestry for the underlying plot, where we see how someone comes to the act of a political murder. Main ingredient is the background history of our main character RUN, a very appropriate name as we shall see.The story begins as it ends, namely with the murder on the prime minister by our main character. After that opening scene, we flash back to his youth, where he was destined to become a professional rain maker. But he fails in the duties imposed on him by his tribe, and he has to flee. The latter (fleeing) becomes the story of his life. We follow him on his footsteps, so to speak.
His first "job" is as an assistant to Gladys La Mangeuse, a performance artist whose act is to eat as much (and more) as physically possible. Her condition deteriorates and so does her act, and she is apprehended as a fraud. He is able to flee in time. For some time he can "hide" himself under the pedestrians in the city center, finds some substitute clothes, and winds up in a sort of speakers corner to hide in the masses. Later on, when Gladys is forced to identify her helper in the crowd, she pretends not to know him. Good of her, but he still risks suspicion and is in need of a new occupation.
In that speakers corner someone calling himself The Admiral is looking for new volunteers to extend his "foreigners out of the country" pseudo military force. It won't get more political than this. Our main character, who has nowhere else to go, enrolls himself without really believing in the cause. As an apprentice he gets all sorts of minor tasks, among which washing the Admiral's car. His body language makes very clear that he'd rather drive than wash, or still better own one by himself. Unofficially, there are rumors that this army serves shady purposes as well, like collecting debts.
Lateron, Run finds other ways to earn money, this being the only way to earn everyone's respect, but at the same time coming in competition with The Admiral who cannot tolerate this. As said before, running becomes the story of Run's life. And the movie continues with new developments.
All in all, in 100 minutes running time we observe a stepwise development of our main protagonist along this line. It is very clear that he carries the story. Many interesting details are enlarged for us, making this an interesting tour through an unfamiliar landscape and population. You cannot expect a morale or a takeaway message, however, which reduces the narrative to a series of subsequent stories, no more no less.
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