I watched London River directed by Rachid Bouchareb the other night. The film is set during the 2005 Tube terrorist bombings that took place in London and follows the stories of a Woman from Guernsey who is searching for her daughter and Black Muslim man from France searching for his son, it turns out that the son and daughter had been living together in London at the time of the attacks.
At first I was annoyed because I thought it was just going to draw on the same old stereotypes; scared white woman terrified of anything remotely ethnic played by Brenda Blehtyn, mysterious black dreadlocked man played by Sotigui Kouyaté. However as the film went on a suprisingly delicate relationship develops between them. I was also amazed by Sotigui Kouyaté, he has a really powerful presence and despite most of his scenes being quiet and gentle they had a lasting effect on me.
I wouldn’t say this is the most amazing film I have seen this year, it’s slow and is quite straight forward but I think the emotional impact that it has is far more important. It teaches tolerance and overcomes stereotypes.
R.I.P. Sotigui Kouyaté