As part of its monthly film series, African Perspectives, AfricAvenir Windhoek in cooperation with Studio 77 presents the Namibian premiere of the Senegal-France co-production, Black, by Pierre Laffargue.
The screening takes place on 28 January at 7pm at Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex (entrance in Garten Street). Admission is N$30.
Black stars rapper MC Jean Gab’1, Carole Karemera, and Anton Yakolev and was released in 2008. It is in French with English subtitles and is 115 minutes in duration.
The film centres on a diamond heist in Dakar, Senegal and intentionally recalls the conceit of the 1970s American “Blaxploitation’ genre, but in a thoroughly modern and artistic way.
A groovy 1970s-style adaptation of Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra sets a funky tone for the opening of Black, which moves briskly from a slickly-shot armoured car robbery gone bad in Paris to a modern update of Shaft in Africa to a lunatic, witchy, bastard offspring of Cat People and Ssssss.
When his Parisian armored car holdup goes horribly wrong, Senegalese-born Black needs to go underground. He’s a criminal and not necessarily a good one. News from his cousin in Senegal about a stash of uncut diamonds in a poorly guarded bank in Dakar hatches the plan to go on a “working vacation” that involves a little sightseeing and a lot of mayhem aiming at the heist of a lifetime.
As Black and his crew soon discover, Dakar has just as many nefarious criminals as any other major city; it’s just that the cons are different. They may be worldly wise to the ways of Paris, but they’re absolutely lost in Senegal. What Black doesn’t know is that the extremely valuable diamonds have attracted other interest……
Film critic Peter Martin remarked: Black “percolates like that first, strong cup of coffee in the morning – with no bitter aftertaste”.
AfricAvenir thanks its sponsors and supporters of this event: Studio 77, Bank Windhoek Arts Festival, WhatsOnWindhoek, & the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre.