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):