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Wùlu

France/Mali/Senegal 2016. Dir: Daouda Coulibaly. 95 min. DCP

“An auspicious debut ... A constantly absorbing thriller, delivered with a pulse-pounding thrust ... Coulibaly is a promising and intriguing new voice.”
PAMELA PIANEZZA, VARIETY

When 20-year-old Ladji, a minibus driver in Bamako, is passed over for promotion, he turns to smuggling drugs between Mali and neighboring countries to provide for himself and save his sister from prostitution. While his rise in the drug trade is as meteoric as Tony Montana’s in Scarface, Wùlu is a more thoughtful, less violent take on the Brian De Palma classic — but no less gripping. This is cinema as immersion: diving deep into the bustling streets of Mali’s capital, first-time writer-director Daouda Coulibaly moves his story along at breakneck speed. Wùlu is an astonishingly assured, spine-tingling thriller; a sobering picture of a once-stable nation threatened by corruption, drug trafficking, and Al-Qaeda; and also a universal tale of a young generation forced to do whatever it takes to get by and find its place in society.


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PERSONS UNDER 14 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT

 

REVIEWS

"A well-executed crowdpleaser ... Even without any knowledge of the political situation in Mali, the film works as a straightforward rollercoaster genre ride."

Hollywood Reporter | full review