Beyond the Ocean

Two friends from the Ivory Coast try their luck in Europe-with contrasting results-in Eliane de Latour's raucous look at the African immigrant underclass that exists beneath the radar of European society. Otho (Djédjé Apali) and Shad (Fraser James) are the twenty-first-century versions of the dreamer/grifters of Djibril Diop-Mambéty's seminal 1973 work Touki Bouki (playing January 29); they've already hustled their way out of Africa, however, and are trying to survive in some unnamed Spanish port city. A police raid sends Otho back to the Ivory Coast, where he implores his fellow countrymen to value African, rather than European, industries, while Shad manages to escape, darting across Europe and the U.K.; finding a place to go never seems to be a problem, just finding a place to stay. Fueled by the charismatic performances of its two leads (James is a regular actor at London's acclaimed Globe Theatre), Beyond the Ocean captures the diversity, chaos, and drive of undocumented immigrant life, whether African, Caribbean, or Bosnian.

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