Andrew Dosunmu’s first feature film reconfigures the classic immigrant narrative, infusing it with new energy that befits the postnational world. Djibril, an aspiring young musician from Senegal, lives in New York. Although he dreams of greatness, imagining the day his own child might be president of the United States, his path is unstructured, and he glories in the chaos of the street. When Djibril meets Trini, a prostitute under the control of Bekay, the local loan shark, his life assumes new purpose and momentum; however, whether Djibril and Trini can outrun Bekay’s nefarious influence is another story.
Attentive to the symbols and dynamics of the pan-African immigrant community, Dosunmu deftly sidesteps sentimentality by presenting an America that diverges from the Horatio Alger myth and a beautifully photographed New York, suffused with visual and aural textures that powerfully evoke the isolation of a newcomer adrift in the world’s most international city. —Sundance Film Festival