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Slavery As Comedy? Watch Trailer For French Farce "Case Départ"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 5, 2011 at 5:27AM

Speaking of Django Unchained...
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Speaking of Django Unchained...

I just came across a trailer for this French time travel flick titled Case Départ, which I believe translates as Return To The Start (or Beginning).

I couldn't find any English-language write-ups for it, so, the synopsis that follows is a Google translation - I just copied the French synop and dumped into Google's translation application, and then made adjustments so it all makes some sense: Half-brothers, Joel and Régis, have a father in common, whom they hardly know. Joel is unemployed and miserable. He feels France is a racist country, and is that the government is to blame for all his failures, because he's black, and uses that as an excuse for not actively looking for work. Régis, on the other hand, loves France, and essentially hates his black self, and blackness in general, refusing to acknowledge his African slave roots. In his words, delinquency and immigration go hand in hand. Both are soon called to the bedside of their dying father in the Antilles, when they are presented with a document that contains information on their ancestral slave heritage - a document that has been passed down through the generations. In trying to determine the value of the document, they accidentally destroy it - an act that they are punished for for by a mysterious old woman, who has been following them since their arrival in the Antilles; the punishment being to send them back in time, all the way to, of course, the Transatlantic slavery period - 1780 specifically - where and when they are sold as slaves. The two brothers then have to work together to find a way to not only escape from the plantation, but also to find a way to return to the present day.

I probably missed something here and there, but I think that just about describes the film.

It's a comedy by the way... I can't immediately recall any movies that have dealt with this specific subject matter in a comedic way.

The film stars Thomas Ngijol and Fabrice Eboué as the 2 half-brothers. The pair also wrote the screenplay. Lionel Steketee directed the film.

The movie will be out in theaters in France on July 6th; I wouldn't expect to see it travel west, but ya never know.

Watch the wacky trailer below, and if you can add anything to what I've already written here, please enlighten us:


Case Départ (2011) Trailer by Afro-Style-Communication

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