‘Wallay’: Film Review

Documentary filmmaker Berni Goldblat (‘The Hillside Crowd’) follows a French problem child sent to live with his father’s family in Burkina Faso.

When a immature French outlaw is sent behind to his father’s internal land of Burkina Faso, he learns how to cope with life on a other side of a Mediterranean in Wallay, a documentary-style underline that uses a singular environment to expostulate an differently minimalist coming-of-age story.

Starring a expel of relations unknowns, this sophomore bid from executive Berni Goldblatt (‘The Hillside Crowd’) is a kind of film that gets by some-more on atmosphere than on plot. At a same time, visitor Matkan Nathan Diarra binds his possess in a lead role, charity adult a touching mural of one repulsive Western teen entrance face-to-face with his common African origins. After premiering in Berlin’s Generation section, Wallay perceived a tiny recover in France and should hoard some-more attention, essentially from youth-oriented festivals.

After an opening flash-forward, we follow 13-year-old Ady (Diarra) causing a tiny ruckus in his French banlieue, withdrawal his unfortunate father with few options though to boat him out of town. Arriving in Burkina Faso to stay in a remote encampment of his peremptory uncle Amadou (Hamadoun Kassougue), Ady believes he’s usually visiting for a week, though shortly learns that he’s stranded on permanent vacation until he reimburses income he stole from his father.

Like many kids his age, all Ady cares about is his telephone, his Beats by Dre-style headphones and whatever song (in this case, French rap) he’s into during a moment. But those quadruped amenities can usually take him so distant in a place with singular electricity and means of communication, generally after his uncle confiscates his pass and Ady is forced to live a tough hit life that everybody in his Burkinabe family is already used to.

Working from a book by David Bouchet, Golblat — who’s of Swiss-Burkinabe start and has a credentials in documentaries — primarily shows Ady reacting with an approaching brew of rebellion and dishonesty to his remarkable change of vital conditions. But a child gradually opens adult to a new universe and a new approach of being, with his cousin, Jean (Ibrhaim Koma, who starred in a Malian crime film Wulu) and his grandmother, Mame (Josephine Kabore), display him some-more adore and love than he ever seemed to get behind home in France.

Such love has some-more of an outcome on Ady than a oppressive teachings of Amadou, who, in a film’s usually vital twist, tries to force, and afterwards trick, his nephew into removing circumcised in sequence to “make him a man.” Goldblat’s doing of that tract indicate is a small shaky, as is a approach he resolves it, though a executive does conduct to practically constraint Ady’s mutation as he becomes enthralled in an wholly opposite lifestyle — one where mercenary concerns seem altogether reduction critical than a family unit.

Shot in a naturalistic demeanour by Martin Rit, with many of a night scenes filmed in low-light conditions, Wallay plunges us into a sights and sounds that Ady practice as he learns to welcome his lost roots. We see scarcely all from his viewpoint, with Diarra doing a superb pursuit portraying an uncontrolled small punk who finds himself remade by a place he never utterly knew a existence of, during slightest on such an insinuate level. Music by French cellist-bassist Vincent Segal is churned in with internal Burkinabe marks to serve a film’s mix of African and European sensibilities.

Production company: bathysphere
Cast: Makan Nathan Diarra, Ibrahim Koma, Hamadoun Kassogue, Josephine Kabore, Mounira Kankole
Director: Berni Goldblat
Screenwriter: David Bouchet
Producer: Nicolas Anthome
Director of photography: Martin Rit
Production designers: Papa Kouyate, Karim Lagati
Costume designer: Huguette Goudjo
Editor: Laurent Senechal
Composer: Vincent Segal
Casting directors: Lan Hong Xuan, Georgette Pare
Sales: bathysphere

In French, Dioula
84 minutes

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