Macadam Tribe | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Macadam Tribe 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


This 1996 debut by African director Jose Laplaine provides an insightful view of urban dislocation and the new communities that form in a changing Africa. Set in an unnamed city, the film follows two brothers, an auto mechanic and a boxer, as they talk and gamble at a local bar; the episodic story abjures narrative tension in favor of vignettes that reveal character and community. Laplaine traces the shifting forces that bind his characters; in cities, he says, most "have never known their tribe...they form a tribe in the neighborhood, around the bar or the boxing club." The TV in the bar reminds us of the outside world: images of an old Muhammad Ali fight provide an ironic and disjunctive counterpoint to the brother's boxing career. Laplaine sets his characters in desolate cityscapes to express the contradictions between their grand aspirations and the opportunities open to them. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday, August 1, 2, and 5, 6:00, 312-443-3737.

--Fred Camper

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Fred Camper

Agenda Teaser

Other Stuff
A Babely Bazaar Slippery Slope
November 20
Performing Arts
The Suffrage Plays Den Theatre
November 01

Popular Stories