City folks pass by the immigrant street peddlers on a daily basis in places like New York and Philly, but rarely do many of us stop and consider their lives and their stories—which is exactly what director Andrew Dosunmu has done in his beautiful, lyrical and moving debut, Restless City, which is currently in theaters.
The city that the movie refers to is New York, and the “restless” comes in the person of a handsome West African immigrant, musician and Canal Street peddler named Djbril (played by Sy Alassane), who bounces around Manhattan trying to make a buck—until he meets the beautiful girl, Trini (played by Sky Grey). She is a prostitute being exploited by one of Djbril’s business associates and the movie turns when Djbril decides to rescue her.
The film was shot by cinematographer Bradford Young, who also shot the gorgeous film coming-out drama Pariah. If you are at all interested in the world being lived on the seedier streets of the big city, you should sit down and take in the lovely, arresting vision of director Dosunmu. (Restless City is rated R)