A French-raised African returns to Guinea to find his natural father in “Temporary Registration,” a film about identity that never establishes a strong one of its own. Very freely constructed, and raising as many questions as it answers, this is Eurotube fare at best.
Director-writer Gahite Fofana, himself born in France, also plays the central character, Mathias, who is mugged soon after he arrives in Guinea. With the help of the shady John Tra (Yves Guichard Traore), Mathias journeys to the rundown industrial town of Fria in company with Tra’s sister, Rama (Fatoumata Kante). The meeting with his father, now an aging alcoholic, is brief and inconsequential; and before returning to France, Mathias makes the mistake of joining one of Tra’s escapades. Apart its realistic portrait of modern day Guinea, pic is confused in its narrative and confusing in its exposition of character. A former documaker, Fofana is fine as Mathias, but at the end of the day the viewer is little wiser about the protag’s search for roots.