Camille Plagnet & Jeanne Delafosse
France | 2014 | 59 min
Language : French
Subtitles : French, English

Eugène Gabana, a young, bigmouthed hunchbacked Burkinabe “businessman”, lives off small-time scams that bring in just enough to put food on the table and fuel in his brother’s motorbike for rides with friends. Camille Plagnet and Jeanne Delafosse return to Burkina Faso to film a fictional history of adolescence that takes the form of the daily struggle for survival in a heavily indebted poor country.

After La Tumultueuse vie d'un déflaté (2009), a colourful portrait of a former train driver on the Abidjan-Ouagadougou line, Camille Plagnet and Jeanne Delafosse (Changement de situation, VdR 2012) return to Ouagadougou, in the Pédiatrie district, to follow the adventures of a Burkinabe “little bandit”: Eugène. A bigmouthed hunchback, he divides his time between mobile phone trafficking, extorting money – by pretending to be a school director or “genie” priest capable of summoning the “power” in the house of an Ivorian Hausa – chatting up girls, night-time motorbike rides with friends and, from time to time... going to school. Eugène Gabana, le pétrolier is the adolescent version of “Grand Z”, the hero of la Tumultueuse vie, who also gives him the cue during a sequence – a way of assuming the filiation between both films as well as the fictional dimension that permeates the work of the two filmmakers. Dark and fierce, this knowing film carried along by the wily energy of its protagonists is also the moving portrait of a child attempting to survive by playing at being an important “businessman”, without really believing in it, while dearly hanging on to this personality as if it to a lifebuoy.

Emmanuel Chicon


Raphaël Pillosio
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