Alain Kassanda
France, Nigeria | 2020 | 41 min
World premiere
Languages : English, Yoruba
Subtitles : English, French

Fred, unemployed graduate like many young Nigerians, is starting a new job as a taxi driver. As for Akin, he taxes commercial vehicles for the national transport union. They both operate in the rich urban landscape of Ibadan, in which Alain Kassanda’s camera choreographs the multiplicity and perpetual power relations at play.

An unemployed graduate like many young Nigerians, Fred is a trained engineer in his thirties who he starts a new job as a taxi driver on the streets of Ibadan. Akin, in the same situation, is on the other side of the urban chessboard: he taxes the commercial vehicles criss-crossing the cluttered and populated asphalt of the country’s third-largest city. Alain Kassanda brings along his camera to accompany Fred during his initiation into the traps and tricks, ruses and rules of survival on the road. The nervous parallel editing choreographs, with Afrobeat tracks, his gradual appropriation of the territory and the gestures of those who argue, like him, about their place, or those who patrol it, such as the employees of the national transport union, like Akin... Trouble Sleep (the title is borrowed from a Fela Kuti song) immerses us in the rich urban landscape of a contemporary African city, saturated with sounds and movements, struggling with autophagous impulses, where Men dream of another fate, which is less bitter, by drinking in the evening, before plunging back the next day into the incessant daily struggle of all against all.

Emmanuel Chicon


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