Poet, writer, actor, musician (let's just call him rennaissance man) Saul Williams stars in French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis 3rd feature film titled Aujourd'hui (or Today in English).
The film, which wrapped principal photography in the summer, asks the question, What goes on inside a man's head who knows he has only 24 hours left to live?
Gomis' film, shot in Dakar, Senegal, will take audiences through this man's last day alive, with Saul Williams playing the lead role – a man named Satche.
"It's the kind of tale that takes place in an imaginary society in which death comes looking for someone. The film starts when he opens his eyes and ends when they close," said Gomis, director of the critically-acclaimed L'Afrance (2001) and Andalucia (2008).
Saul Williams, who most will likely recall from his work on the 1998 film Slam (as both writer and star), last appeared as himself in a series of documentaries – most recently Nelson George's soon-to-be released paean to the city he loves, Brooklyn Boheme.
On Aujourd'hui, he adds, "The film is not set in Dakar, we never say where it is taking place… [Satche is a] man of great intelligence, with little ambition who is not interested in the American dream and returns to his country after 15 years in the United States, to the unpleasant surprise of his family."
And despite the subject matter, director Gomis says "'Aujourd'hui' is not a sad movie… To me it is a joyful movie… which tries to make the theoretical concept of someone's last hours a tactile, perceptible experience."
The film, produced by Senegalese company Cinekap, and financed mostly with French funds, co-stars the absolutely lovely and talented Aissa Maiga (who, you may recall, also co-stars in Phillip Niang's Toussaint L'Ouverture movie I posted the trailer for earlier this week), Djolof Mbengue, and Doss Thierno Ndiaye.
The filmmakers expect to debut the film at the Berlinale next February.
It's now officially on my alert list.
No trailer or clips; but I did find several reports profiling the film; however, they are all in French and not subtitled. Like the one that follows below: