7th October 2016 9.00pm at ICA Cinema
8th October 2016 3.30pm at BFI Southbank (NFT)
Set in Mali’s criminal milieu, Wùlu, meaning “dog”, showcases the screenwriting talents of filmmaker Daouda Coulibaly, and marks his promising directorial debut. Wùlu is the rags-to-riches story of an ambitious young man named Ladji (Ibrahim Koma) who becomes involved in the drug trade when nepotism thwarts his promised promotion.
Despite his accumulated wealth – which allows is a great aid for his beloved sister Ami (Inna Modja) to end her life of prostitution, Ladji remains miserable. Throughout the movie he wallows in uncertainty about the morality of his behaviour, and Koma is magnificent as this stoic delinquent. Although Ladji mostly has a silent role for the duration of Wùlu, Koma’s acting is so superior that the sorrowful proceedings of his character’s mind become blatantly obvious to the audience. It is absolutely excruciating to see Ladji attempting to conform to society’s ideals of happiness when what he has to do to maintain it is so destructive.
While grim in its storytelling, Wùlu is amazingly colourful. It is entirely bold and vibrant, and this is a wonderfully rare thing to see especially when contemporary films tend to be overly concerned with draining colour from the screen.
Coulibaly creates a powerful visual when he focuses on Ladji’s inner turmoil by cutting between the slaughter of bovines and the drug dealers being brutally murdered. The use of prayer beads during scenes like these maintains its significance for the duration of the movie, and whenever he is subdued with guilt, the prayer beads are depicted as an indication of the sins he does not manage to absolve.
Wùlu is a gut-wrenching crime-filled drama. While its narration is not completely perfect, Daouda Coulibaly reflects his talent as a gifted filmmaker with this picture.
Wùlu does not have a UK release date yet.
For further information about the 60th London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Wùlu here: