Burn it Up Djassa

A raw, noir-tinged urban legend set to the cadence of slam poetry and the beat of street dance, Burn It Up Djassa signals the arrival of an exciting new artistic movement from Africa’s Ivory Coast.


Philippe Lacôte’s first fiction feature, Run, builds on his remarkable 2008 documentary Chronicles of War in the Ivory Coast as it refracts the last two decades of his country’s blood-drenched history through the experiences of a young man drawn into the spiral of political violence. Born into a country mired in wars and corruption, the film’s protagonist has been on the run all his life — hence his name, Run (Abdoul Karim Konaté).

Interspersed with flashbacks that follow Run’s twenty-year trajectory from country boy to political militant to assassin, the film explores how violence’s twisted logic takes hold of a society, and how an individual can slip to the far side of reason. When Run enters the church dressed in the tattered clothes of a vagabond — the perfect camouflage in a city where so many unfortunates roam the streets unnoticed — he is not only in disguise: he has been transformed from within. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]