Eugène Gabana le Pétrolier
Jeanne Delafosse, Camille Plagnet
Eugène clatters through the sandy streets of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on his moped, trying to flog mobile phones and SIM cards. With not a cent in his pocket, he is one of thousands of youngsters who muddles along in a country that is characterised by extreme poverty. Admired by his friends for his independence, Eugène is fascinated by other people’s wealth. In the evening, he tries to arrange a date with the daughter of a well-known local businessman. He’s earned just about enough during the day to be able to afford a meal and a tank full of petrol for the borrowed moped.
Although smaller than all the other boys his age, there’s something heroic about Eugène. He’s streetwise, fends for himself, is always on the lookout for some kind of deal. For example, by disguising his voice and pretending to be the school principal, he manages to get a classmate’s father give him school money – with commission no less. A petty criminal, Eugène steers clear of more serious offences. He wins people over with his energy and resourcefulness.
And he also manages to continue going to school – in a country where only every second child finishes elementary school. The protagonist of this everyday comedy writes a guide to survival in one of the world’s most heavily indebted countries.
The intention of Jeanne Delafosse and Camille Plagnet is never to focus on the country’s poverty or arouse sympathy by tugging at viewers’ heartstrings. On the contrary, they paint a compelling picture of a West African city – always remaining on an equal footing with their protagonist.
Film programme 9 to 5
Awards for ›Eugène Gabana le Pétrolier‹
Special Mention, Kasseler Dokfest 2014 | Quintessence – Festival International du Film de Ouidah, Le Python à Tête Noire, Prix du scénario 2015
Jeanne Delafosse, born 1980, is a film-maker and scriptwriter. After Changement de situation, Eugène Gabana le Petrolier is the second film she co-directed with Camille Plagnet.
Films by Jeanne Delafosse
Et que ça saute! 2013 | Changement de situation 2011 | Le bruit de l’herbe qui pousse 2010 | La cicatrice 2007 | Hello Mister Pigeon 2007 | La vie dans la cellule 2007 | Bazar 2006 | Sans consigne ni retour 2003
Camille Plagnet studied history and philosophy in Paris, theatre at the INSAS in Brussels and documentary film in Lussas (France). In 2009, he shot his first full-length feature film which earned her numerous international awards.
Films by Camille Plagnet
Les difficultés de la plaine 2012 | Changement de situation 2011 | La tumultueuse vie d’un déflate 2009 | La cicatrice 2007 | Hello Mister Pigeon 2007 | La vie dans la cellule 2007