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Film

Post-colonial Robinson Crusoe

OUT NOW! THE RIVER USED TO BE A MAN makes an interesting statement but not heavy enough to drown in.

A nameless young actor indulging in a severe case of ennui finds himself literally up a creek in Botswana, alone but for the corpse of his guide, recently and unexpectedly deceased. The film’s evident distaste with the white man’s stupidity makes this an interesting variant on a post-colonial Robinson Crusoe. Except for going where he doesn’t belong, the protagonist does nothing wrong – or right. Passivity, however, works against the movie. It’s a statement, not a story, beautifully made but unsubstantial.

The River Used to be a Man (Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch) | Directed by Jan Zabeil (Gemany 2011) with Alexander Fehling, Obusentswe Dreamar Manyim. Starts Sept 27.