Wùlu Screen 5 articles

Wùlu

2016

Wùlu Poster
  • This is the sort of foreign film that's strikingly beholden to Hollywood models, so much so that any astute viewer can figure out its trajectory fairly quickly... The film is diverting, if empty and predictable, but it feels more like a calling card for a studio job than anything else. The one unusual aspect of Wùlu -- the lead performance by Ibraham Koma, who has the dull, drained affect of a confused bystander -- does the film no favors.

  • Were Coulibaly intent on further engulfing Ladji within such sharp evocations of his own entrapment, Wùlu wouldn't feel so familiar. Indeed, as the bullets start to fly and the body count mounts, the film's dubious sociopolitical weight ends up feeling like an excuse to stage a number of shootouts.

  • “Scarface” is the genre gift that keeps on giving, even when set in Mali. Yet one of the strengths of “Wùlu” is that its French writer-director, Daouda Coulibaly, in a tense, tight feature debut, has made a familiar story singularly his own. And while much remains the same — the crime, the punishment and the intimations of incest — here, acts of individual wrongdoing tend to pale next to the wrongs of postcolonialism and organized terror.

  • Fewer debuts have been as complete or compelling as Franco-Malian director Daouda Coulibaly’s. It's a testament to his writing and directing that the stakes and betrayals register and resonate in an economical 95 minutes.

  • One of the most exciting narrative features to come out of West Africa of late.

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