A triptych of short stories about life in a large city in equatorial Africa, “Fragments of Life” is a solid example of the kind of Third World cinema important to many fest programmers. Well made and overflowing with fascinating images of vibrant city life, pic may attract TV programmers, despite the uneven storytelling.
Pic, which was shot in the teeming streets of Yaounde, Cameroon, is in verite style, but the three stories told are conventional in themselves, at times perfunctorily handled and generally less interesting than the passing details of city life. Part one is about an educated youth trying in vain to get a job; in part two, a young woman takes revenge on the man responsible for her father’s death by torture; and part three enters the night world of prostitutes and petty criminals. The key player in all three stories is Yaounde itself — its slums, its modern high-rise buildings, its overcrowded streets. Technical credits are all solid.