Tuesday, June 5, 2012
La-Bas: A Criminal Education (2011) Open Roads 2012
La Bas is screening on June 10th as part of Lincoln Center's Open Road series of new Italian Cinema
Yusouf, is an artist from Africa. He travels to Italy to find his uncle. His uncle has said that if he gets there he may have a job for him. Falling in with other Africans, he has difficulty finding his uncle. Eventually he makes contact and finds himself drawn into various legal and illegal enterprises. Complications soon begin to arise with a woman, cops and lots of bad guys.
This is a good look at how good people can get sucked into bad things. It's a cautionary tale that warns us that sometimes what we think will be a new happy world won't be. Its also a peek into a world most of us will never know.
I like the film, but I'm not crazy for it. Its a tale that I've seen in variations before over the year, though to be honest perhaps with a tad less urgency. Its also a tale that is connected in many ways to the excellent film Gommorrah with it's depiction of the Commora, who are very much a nasty part of this story.
I think I should warn you by saying this is neither an action packed film nor a heavy crime film. While both of those elements are here, crime in particular, the film plays as a Yusouf's journey into the lion's den.