Fantasia 2009: ‘Black’

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Sound on Sight co-host Al Kratina is covering Fantasia for the Montreal Gazette’s Cine Files blog. Read an excerpt below.


Directed by Pierre Laffargue

It must be difficult to do anything original with the urban crime drama, since most of the more familiar tropes have migrated from gritty 1970s cult films to G Unit videos and Grand Theft Auto. But with Black, director Pierre Laffargue manages to nearly reinvent the genre, by shifting the location of his heist film from the inner city to Western Africa. This allows him to approach Senegalese culture with the same fascinated reverence that can be sensed when Manhattan socialites talk about the Meatpacking District.

Black follows the titular criminal, played by MC Jean Gab’1, whose plans for an armoured car robbery end in bloodshed. Tipped off by his cousin about a briefcase full of diamonds in a Dakar bank, he heads off to Senegal with a new gang, unaware that a group of mercenaries and a crime boss with a kind of mystic psoriasis have similar plans….. for the rest of this review, click here

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