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03/05/2017 6:30 pm

Ladji lives hand-to-mouth selling bus tickets on the streets of Bamako. With no opportunity for advancement, Ladji decides to take on a more profitable—and far more precarious—vocation. Ladji finds fast success as a drug trafficker, but with that success comes uneasy alliances with the upper echelons of the underworld, Mali’s military, and even Al-Qaeda.
A sort of African variation on Scarface, Wùlu marks the sizzling debut of Malian-French director Daouda Coulibaly. The film begins as a gritty crime story before transforming into a political thriller. Along the way it sheds light on a part of the world too rarely seen—and the brutal, externally manipulated social order that holds it captive.

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