Ivorian director Lacote at Cannes: Cinema exists at 'a fine boundary'

Tue May 20, 2014 2:24am EDT
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By Michael Roddy

CANNES France (Reuters) - African filmmaker Philippe Lacote recalls an incident from his youth when a film spectator, fearing the martial arts star Bruce Lee would be killed by someone behind him, jumped on stage and slashed the screen with a knife to protect his hero.

Lacote, from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, whose "Run" has had its premiere at the Cannes International Festival in the "Un Certain Regard" forum, said he became a filmmaker because the incident led him to realize that cinema exists at the "fine boundary" between the mystical world and the real.

"We have historical time and we have mystical time," Lacote, 44, told Reuters in an interview after his film, the first from Ivory Coast to be shown in Cannes in 29 years, made a favorable impression.

"If I sit here with you I believe...that my grandfather can be near me and if I have some food, I will also put some on the floor for the ancestors.

"Everything is connected, the world is like this."

Such connections are woven into "Run", which on the surface is about a young man named Run who has assassinated Ivory Coast's prime minister and is a fugitive from military patrols crisscrossing the country to find him.

That element plays out as a straight political thriller, a bit in "The Manchurian Candidate" vein. The mysticism seeps in because Run has had a premonition, since he was a boy, that he would kill a marauding elephant.

When the prime minister arrives at the cathedral where Run plans to shoot him, he does not see a man but instead sees an elephant walking up the steps into the house of worship.   Continued...

Director Philippe Lacote (C), cast member Isaach De Bankole (L) and actor Abdoul Karim Konate (R) pose during a photocall for the film "Run" in competition for the category "Un Certain Regard" at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 17, 2014.      REUTERS/Regis Duvignau