By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 15, 2012 at 4:20PM
This is one film that I've been really curious about since we first profiled it last fall; I've been tracking it, hoping that it might eventually screen somewhere in my neck of the woods (NYC), but that hasn't happened yet.
Soon I'm sure.
You guys were mostly negative on it, if the last 2 entries we've posted about it are any indication; but based on what I've seen and heard thus far, I'm intrigued, and would like to see the entire thing.
The brand new first full trailer below gives us much more to chew on than the brief *controversial* intro clip that was included in past posts, which turned off a lot of you. That was all we really had to go on... until now.
Not that I expect this full trailer will suddenly have any effect on you, and I'm not even saying that it will be a good flick (I haven't seen it); but maybe it'll at least make you curious enough to want to see the rest of it, as it did for me... then again, maybe not.
As a quick recap...
It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, screened at the Venice Film Festival, and later made its Stateside debut at the AFI Film Festival just a month or so after. The AFI Film Fest is in LA, so I wasn't there to attend. Earlier in January this year, it screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival - a festival that also serves as a showcase for Oscar hopefuls.
Finally, it most recently screened at the Seattle Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New Director. The film is Belgian Nicolas Provost's feature debut.
It's one of a handful of films we've profiled over the last year that explore some angle of the African immigrant's experience in Europe, to put it broadly.
Titled The Invader, it stars Burkinabé actor Issaka Sawadogo, and Italian actress Stefania Rocca, as Amadou ("a robust and bold illegal immigrant"), and Agnès ("a married upper-class woman who works in the real-estate and artistic sectors"). The pair meet, get involved against all expectations, and have an intense but brief love affair. When they break up, Amadou’s life "takes a turn towards desperation and violence."
Suffice it to say that things don't end well ;)
Its full official synopsis reads:
Amadou, a strong and charismatic African man, is washed up on a beach in southern Europe. Fate leads him to Brussels where, full of optimism, he tries to make a better life for himself. Exploited by traffickers, his daily life is slowly drained of hope, until he meets Agnès, a beautiful and brilliant businesswoman. She is seduced by his charm and force of character, while he projects all his hopes and dreams onto her. The illusion quickly shatters, and Agnès breaks all contact with Amadou, who little by little sinks into destructive violence, struggling with his inner demons.
This little bit from a Cineuropa review might help further (written after it debuted on the Lido at Venice last year to a packed house):
Amadou, on the run from his native country and from those who brought him, welcome him and feed him, clings desperately to the interest Agnès shows in this strong and brazen man, the antithesis of her close circle. However, soon the truth will inexorably come between “Obama” (as Amadou calls himself) and Agnès, turning them into archetypes of their social class: he a criminal; she a respectable person who gives money to the needy more in order to keep him at a distance than to help him. Amadou does indeed need money, but this isn’t what he desires.
If any S&A readers saw it at any of the festivals it's screened in, do share your thoughts.
The new English-subtitled full trailer is embedded below (full poster underneath):