- *Best Mid-Length Film* - Visons du Reél
- *Best Documentary* - Brussels International Film Festival
- *Best First Film* - Corsica.Doc Festival
- International Human Rights Film Festival, Paris
This intimate documentary delves into the phenomenon of African online scamming, and draws out its insightful sociological and political undertones.
The charismatic “Rolex the Portuguese” is back in Côte d’Ivoire after an ambitious, failed scheme in neighboring Burkina Faso. With his companions, aged between 15 and 25, he makes a living from casual trade, particularly through a form of online scamming. Assertively, and with a wholesome sense of justice, they cunningly take advantage of the monetary largesse of white women in search of love, and then blow the money on their own nocturnal indulgences.
Beyond the casual catharsis produced by their hedonistic lifestyle lies an ethos, generated by their own culture, and specifically inspired by the musician Doug Saka. In his meteoric stardom, up until his death in 2016, Saka promoted a hedonistic, self-assured model for African youth, and invented the “coupé-décalé” style of dance music, which became famous all over Western Africa as well as in Europe.
As we glimpse into their lives and methods, we learn that the protagonists of Vivre Riche belong to a transitional youth, disoriented by years of civil war, who, to the great displeasure of the previous generation, are obsessed with perfecting a new, disillusioned way of life that aims to “cash in on the colonial debt”. In taking advantage of the global reach and anonymity of the internet to try to correct a historical wrong, they are redefining their sense of pride and identity, and doing their best to subvert the racism and exploitation of the global village.
53 minutes, in French & Dyula with English subtitles.