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by Christine Riney

Daouda Coulibaly,  France/Senegal

Ladji (Ibrahim Koma),  a 20-year-old Malian, is working as an apprentice bus driver. His ambition is  to become a bus driver and finally have enough money to get his sister Aminata  (Inna Modja) out of prostitution. When Ladji is passed over for promotion he decides  to take a more shady route to provide a living for his sister and himself.  After contacting Driss, a local drug dealer, Ladji and his two best friends  start trafficking kilos of cocaine from Guinea back into Mali. Showing a clear  talent for the work of a smuggler his trips become more and more dangerous as  well as profitable. After a short time Ladji and Aminata are living a  hedonistic lifestyle off the proceeds of drugs. Aminata thrives in this new  world but Ladji, although apparently ‘made’ for this type of work, is slowly  being consumed by the immorality.

The  performance by Ibrahim Koma is powerful, with most of the drama coming from  what he doesn’t say. The ending is unexpected but fitting, as with life the  road taken sometimes leads in only one direction, unless you deliberately turn.  A first feature for Director/Screenwriter Daouda Coulibaly, it was entered in  the First Feature Competition at the London Film Festival this year as well as  screening at the Hamburg Filmfest.