“A kind of 400 Blows in Gabon” (California Newsreel), Dôlé combines the French-inspired aesthetic of African art cinema with the street-level commercial flair of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, or John Singleton in its look at a young boy coming of age in Gabon's colorful port city of Libreville. The quick-witted, doe-eyed Mougler could be a disaffected teenager anywhere, given to reading Raptronic Magazine, flirting with girls, and practicing his gangsta poses (and petty thievery) with friends. Mougler, however, is a teenager in Gabon, a place where options are few, and most hopes are circling around the new lottery game dôlé; the question for his gang is whether to play it, or rob its cashbox. Populist African filmmaking at its finest, Dôlé enlivens its universal coming-of-age-in-a-criminal-world theme with a strong Franco-African hip-hop soundtrack and the camerawork of Dominique Fausset, who captures the specific ambience of the teeming streets and desolate waterways of Libreville.

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