L’HISTOIRE DE SOULAYMANE (Cannes 2024) – Review by Clotilde Chinnici

Set in Paris over the course of 48 hours that feel like an entire lifetime, L’Histoire de Souleymane follows the titular Souleymane as he prepares for his asylum application interview. As we quickly find out, Souleymane has recently arrived in France from Guinea as is attempting to secure legal residency. Every day, he pedals through the streets of Paris all day and late into the evening as an undocumented delivery worker. He sleeps in homeless shelters at night, at least when he’s able to make it to the bus in time to get there to check in. In order to maximize his chances of getting his asylum status recognized, Souleymane is paying a broker who convinces him to memorize a fake story because, as the broker advises, his real story may not be strong enough to convince the committee.

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