The name Issaka Sawadogo may not immediately sound familiar to you, but his face and the last film he starred in, which got lots of pub on this site, probably will, since your reactions to it were mostly, strongly negative.
That film was The Invader, which stars Burkinabé actor Issaka Sawadogo and Italian actress Stefania Rocca, as Amadou (“a robust and bold illegal immigrant“), and Agnès (“a married upper-class woman who works in the real-estate and artistic sectors“). The pair meet, get involved against all expectations, and have an intense but brief love affair. When they break up, Amadou’s life “takes a turn towards desperation and violence.“
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, screened at the Venice Film Festival, and later made its Stateside debut at the AFI Film Festival just a month or so after. Earlier in January this year, it screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, as well as the Seattle Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New Director.
The film is Belgian Nicolas Provost’s feature debut.
It’s one of a handful of films we’ve profiled over the last year that explore some angle of the African immigrant’s experience in Europe, to put it broadly.
And despite all those screenings, none of us here at S&A HQ have been able to see it (unfortunately, it never screened in NYC, so neither Tambay nor I has seen it, and it didn’t screen in Chicago, so Sergio didn’t see it either; And we couldn’t get a screener of it).
If you’ve forgotten about the film, you can watch its trailer below to refresh your memory.
But I’m here today to alert you to Issaka Sawadogo’s next film, which is currently in post-production, and that we recently learned about.
Titled De Nieuwe Wereld (or The New World), the Dutch film stars Sawadogo and Dutch actress Bianca Krijgsman.
Written and directed by Jaap van Heusden (co-written with Rogier de Blok), the IJswater Films production follows the life of an unruly maid, who is startled by the arrival of a West African refugee.
Here’s a longer description )translated):
Myrtle (39) works as a cleaner at the at the airport a stubborn woman with a painful past. Until Luc (42) arrives, a West African refugee who is not impressed or intimidated by her aggression. From day one, he irritates and he confronts Myrtle, as he awaits to learn the results of his request for asylum. During the ten days of his asylum procedure, they frequently encounter each other, at the airport, which Luc apparently isn’t allowed to leave, since he’s seeking asylum, and this lead to an unexpected relationship.
That’s as much as I was able to decipher from the English translation, thanks to Google Translate. Maybe our friends in the Netherlands can fill in what I left out.
But this kind of reminds me of that Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg/Catherine Zeta-Jones film, Terminal, in which Hanks plays a man from an Eastern European country who arrives in New York, after war breaks out in his country. He’s denied entrance into the U.S. but also can’t be deported, so he has to remain in the airport until his status can be fixed. So he sets up residence in the airport for a number of days, and gets involved with flight attendant he runs into whenever she comes in, played by Zeta-Jones.
Except Terminal doesn’t have the same race-play that The New World does.
The film is currently in Post-production, with a spring of 2013 debut scheduled.
We’ll keep watch on this one, so when there’s anything new to report, like when that first trailer drops, we’ll have it for you.
The photo above is a still image from the film.
Here’s the trailer and poster for Sawadogo’s last film, The Invader: