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TIFF movie review: Burn It Up Djassa

A scene from "Burn it Up Djassa"

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Burn It Up Djassa
Directed by
Lonesome Solo
Starring
Abdoul Karim Konaté
Genre
Drama
Country
Ivory Coast/France

Despite all the pretense of keeping it real, there's a wide gulf between tales of ghetto bravado and actual street life. Tony (Abdoul Karim Konaté) is a cigarette hawker and petty hustler in the vibrant but dangerous neighbourhood of Wassakara in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan. Thin and tough, he is gaining a rep, having some luck playing roadside blackjack and becoming a big man among his crew of locals – even though he lives on next to nothing like everyone else. A friend intermittently talks to the camera in local argot, spinning stories of Tony's ghetto daring, yet Tony himself is far less assured, his ability to beat the odds against him and match his rep less certain. Rhythmically paced and clear-headed, this film is as much about storytelling as it is about a lost generation of young men.

Sept. 11, 7 p.m., and Sept. 13, 10 p.m., Jackman Hall (AGO); Sept. 14, 12:45 p.m., Scotiabank

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