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Film Review: The Invader
by Christa Greiff

The so-called “invader” in Provost’s feature debut is an African illegal immigrant in Belgium. Amadou (Issaka Sawadogu) lives and works in Brussels where he hopes to find a better life. The death of a friend and co-worker becomes a turning point in the life of the hard-working immigrant. Amadou quits working for the inhuman employer he holds responsible for his friend‘s death. Without a job, a place to stay or money, he lives for revenge and his dream of a better life. He meets Agnès (Stefania Rocca), a beautiful, wealthy business woman. They have sex, and Amadou already pictures himself having a relationship that will give him the life he wants.

In The Invader Belgian director and visual artist Nicoloas Provost tells the story of an immigrant who tries to find his place in a foreign country, a theme Provost already explored in his award-winning short Exoticore (2004). Issaka Sawadogu, who won the Acting Award at the 2005 Vendome Short Film Festival for playing the immigrant in Exoticore, is a charismatic, believable Amadou in The Invader. Reality and fantasy coexist in this movie and it’s at least partly up to the viewer to decide which is which. Provost deliberately plays with stereotypes (some think he simply reproduces them) and the viewers’ expectations. A thought-provoking film.