Out of My Hand

‘What do you want?’ asks the trade union leader, to which the men respond as if with one voice: change! Life is hard work on Liberia’s rubber plantations and wages are meagre. Nothing has changed for generations, but now the workers are calling for a strike and instead of grafting, the men are playing football or fishing. The women are not happy at all – how will they feed the family? When the strike is brought to an abrupt end one of the rubber workers, Cisco, decides he can no longer stand conditions in his native land. He heads for New York to join his cousin and finds work as a taxi driver; he plans to send the money he earns home to his wife and the two children. In the tiny community of ex-pat Liberians he is reunited with Jacob, an old acquaintance he had long since erased from his memory, but who now brings back recollections of the time when they were both child soldiers …
Takeshi Fukunaga’s film features a detailed description of the harsh conditions on rubber plantations before making a connection with a central trauma of Liberian society: on his search for happiness, protagonist Cisco suddenly finds himself surrounded by ghosts from the past.
by Takeshi Fukunaga
with Bishop Blay, Zenobia Taylor, Duke Murphy Dennis, David Roberts, Shelley Molad
USA / Liberia 2015 87’

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