It's been sometime since there's been any mention of this film on S&A – about a year ago actually, when it was screening as part of the African Diaspora Film Festival lineup in NYC.
Fast-forward to today, and I just learned that it will indeed be getting a theatrical release in the USA. Specifically, it opens Weds 12/7 in NYC, followed by Los Angeles on 12/16.
It's called London River, French/Algerian filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb’s drama which was well-received by critics and audiences alike, while it toured the film festival circuit, starting with its debut at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009; so it's been around a littlw whilte, and will finally, thankfully see a commercial release outside of film festivals.
The film tells the story of Brit Elisabeth (Brenda Blethyn) and Malian Ousmane (the late Sotigui Kouyaté who died about a year after the film debuted) – two parents from drastically different backgrounds, searching for their children in the wake of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London.
Kouyaté won a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for his performance as an elderly Malian man who never knew his son, but is intent on tracking him down.
Once a soccer star for the Burkina Faso national team, he has a professional acting resume that dates back to 1972, a star of stage, television and film. But it really wasn’t until 2009 that he seemed to have attracted international acclaim, with his work in London River, a role for which he was also awarded the French government’s highest cultural honor at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, when he was made an officer of arts and letters.
I never got to see London River, but I should have a screener in the next week, so I'll watch it then.
Again, it debuts next week Wednesday, 12/7, at NYC's Cinema Village, and then at the Laemmle’s Royal in Los Angeles on December 16, with a platform release to follow. The director, and other guest scholars/critics will be present for Q&As after some of the screenings.
In NYC, on Weds. 12/7 – Q&A with Director Rachid Bouchareb with Deana Nassar, Hollywood Liaison Muslim Public Affairs Council; and on Sun. 12/11 – Q&A with professor and author Moustafa Bayomi, who wrote How Does It Feel to Be a Problem, Being Young and Arab in America (time TBA)
In Los Angeles, on Fri 12/16 – Q & A following the 7 pm-ish show with Jihad Turk, Director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California, in conversation with Levantine Center cofounder Jordan Elgrably; On Sat. 12/17 – Q & A features writer-professor Jawad Ali; And onSun 12/18 – Q&A with Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
Watch the film's new theatrical trailer below: