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Preview African Immigrant Tragedy "The Invader" + Watch Bold NSFW Opening Scene

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 6, 2011 12:21 PM
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We totally missed this one in our highlighting of titles screening at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the Venice Film Festival (it's at both festivals); one of a handful of films that explore some angle of the African immigrant's experience in Europe, to put it broadly. And if the below clip (the film's opening sequence), along with the film's synopsis are of any indication, this is one that's primed for controversy.

TItled The Invader, the film 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."

What exactly that means, I'm not certain. Though I'm sure it doesn't end well. But I'm open to guesses ;)

Its full 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 (it debuted on the Lido at Venice yesterday to a packed house, though its reception was reportedly lukewarm):

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.

The film is Belgian Nicolas Provost's feature debut.

No word where it'll travel to next after the VFF and TIFF; I'm curious for obvious reasons, and hope it passes through NYC at some point so I can check it out, and of course, share my thoughts on it afterward.

In the meantime, courtesy of the folks at Twitch, here are the *revealing* opening minutes of the film (Warning: It's NSFW):

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  • Anderson | September 7, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    What a stupid opening. What is bold about it?

  • Vio12 | September 7, 2011 5:59 AMReply

    Ugh, HATED it!!! It felt so goofy and forced. And I agree: Did they have to find the manliest female possible for that scene? David Bowie indeed!

    I mean, I understand what they MIGHT have been going for, but it was poorly executed, and definitely doesn't inspire me to go see it.

  • Nia | September 7, 2011 5:37 AMReply

    It seems like one of those films which is too wrapped up in it's art to the point where it seems absurd. I'm curious to see if the claims about black actors being exploited sexually will carry over here in this movie. Race is the prominent factor and sex, at least from what I see in the trailer, is expected as well. Or are there double standards? Hmm.

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 7, 2011 3:17 AMReply

    Well....European films can be different I must say. I'm not a prude (or at least I believe that is the case) but Good Lord, nude beach or no nude beach, ever think about a bikini, sweetheart? :)

    I must be a typical Yankee. This film will never make it to American arthouse theaters.

    Ha, JMac! This lady could pass for David Bowie's twin sister.

  • CareyCarey | September 7, 2011 3:13 AMReply

    Uuuuuummmmm, did someone call my name? :-)

    Well, lets see... I ahh..... you know.... I ahh.... well... I don't know what to say? Yes I do, but I need some of those cartoon bubbles to do my words justice. You know, when the scene opens and we see Betty Crocker's sway-back ass, I would have a bubble above her head saying " Goddamn, prayer works, Mandingo and Me". And then my comments would have to only appear on "Adult Swim" b/c ol' Amadou was looking at Agnes like she was warm buttered biscuits and syrup. Shiiiit, I know some brothas who would sop that up! And see, I can't tell you want “Obama” (as Amadou calls himself) was thinking, but from the look in his eyes, everything he likes to eat starts with a "P"... pancakes, pinnapples, and ......

    I'm gone, y'all gonna get me in thouble up in here.

  • JMac | September 7, 2011 2:13 AMReply

    Ha! I watched it but had no real opinion so I didn't post anything. Hormones must be settling down today, lol. And then I just watched the Lucky movie trailer [me likee] so my mind is still there.

    Looks like they're trying too hard to make this a pensive, artsy film but it does seem, well, stupid. I don't care too much if a black male is being exploited. See I'm racist and sexist :D

    P.S. I seriously thought that chick was David Bowie for a second. David Bowie with breasteses.

  • Cynthia | September 7, 2011 1:57 AMReply

    Haha! So true Vanessa. Let's see what the others say. Carey...AccidentalVistor...Jmac...Mecca...Kia...BondGirl...etc...

  • BluTopaz | September 7, 2011 1:52 AMReply

    "Amadou does indeed need money, but this isn’t what he desires."

    but of course, all that nekkid pure alabaster flesh makes Amadou savage with desire!!!

    Was Monica Bellucci busy? Agnes should have been sexy as hell, not this flacid, pale figure just loping along. The sex scenes are probably dry.

  • Vanessa Martinez | September 7, 2011 1:43 AMReply

    Actually, I was wrong, I didn't forget about it right away, but thought why would she just stand there and not ask, "hey do you need help, is this other man you swam with for I don't know how long alive? Let me call 911. Ha

  • Vanessa Martinez | September 7, 2011 1:04 AMReply

    Ok, well before seeing that opening scene, I was really intrigued because it sounded sexy and interesting, but then I saw the clip and just the way she was walking and then stood there like, I'm so beautiful and I'm naked; don't you want me?" That turned me off. I'll probably forget about this movie as soon as I finished typing this comment. *shrugs*

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