They call them the Hyenas of Bangui. A trio of mercenaries who like to eat lead for breakfast. Chaka the brain, Rafa the muscle and Minuit the mystic have just evacuated a South American drug lord from Guinea-Bissau. They want to fly to Dakar, but a leaking fuel tank forces them to make an unscheduled stopover in Sine Saloum, a river delta with a dangerous mystical reputation. They find shelter at the Baobab Lodge, a place where they hope to take refuge until everyone has lost track of them. That, however, is idle hope. The guests of the lodge all seem to have a double agenda. The atmosphere is electric, the tension constant and it’s not just personal demons who will throw a spanner in the works. Because that mystical reputation of Saloum is anything but a myth.

In 2015, Jean-Luc Herbulot dazzled us all at the BIFFF with his unique thriller DEALER. Seven years later, he’s back with an equally unusual piece of work. SALOUM is an Italian western in the African savannah, a John Carpenter film in which African drums replace the synthesizer, exploitation laced with mystical philosophy… SALOUM is an unclassifiable viewing experience, with breathtaking images, an iconoclastic and feverish film. But above all a tribute to the genre and to Africa, served up by a talented director from whom we can expect a lot more to come.

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