The River / Le Fleuve

Director: Mama Keïta
Country: France / Guinea / Senegal
Year: 2003
Running Time: 95 min.
Language: French


Alfa is a mixed-race drug dealer living in Paris. He brutally murders a local crime lord and then beats his henchman with a baseball bat. His older brother, a mysterious and distant figure, tells him cryptically to ‘go towards the river.’ Alfa is forced to flee and reluctantly returns to his homeland, the place of his father’s death, Guinea. On the way, he visits his mother, and runs into his beautiful young cousin, Marie, who is immediately drawn to him. Disgusted with all things African, he sullenly spurns her advances. Eager to get to know Alfa, Marie steals her father’s truck and offers him a ride to his destination in Guinea. As they have their road adventure and draw closer, we see in flashback the gruesome events that drove Alfa to commit murder. Alfa and Marie contend with thugs, thieves, and corrupt officials on their journey, and soon learn that the thug Alfa beat up before he fled Paris is still alive, and is hunting him down.