Cabascabo (1969) - full transcript

Cabascabo, a veteran of the French colonial army in Indochina, returns to his home town in Niger, acclaimed by friends and relatives. In fragmented flash-backs, he tells the story of his adventure and the battles in that distant land.

So, when we were at war!

They buried this type of rock,

which exploded and sent you to heaven.

And they're chicken!

You walk on it and you're
blown away.

You, you speak of nothing
but Indochine.

No we weren't there,

yet we were still wounded.

We come here to drink and
then leave.

Hey ! Let people talk!

You have no money
and you're pissing us off.

I have money to pay for my drink.

You English have got fuck all!

And you, French soldiers!

You're asking for it!
You English,

don't even have shoes.

In Indochine, I remember...

Truth be told, you were brave.
You might have been made corporal.

Listen, sargent, I don't
care about stripes.

I wish God would return me to
my country.

So this isn't your country?

Aren't you a French soldier?

What? This, my country?
You're joking!

This is your country.

Enough of this talk. Leave
me alone, or else...

Fine, but I'll land you in jail!

Who's talking about prison

when our friends are dead?

What did you do to this sargent?

What sargent?
The smoker, there...

I don't care about him.

What's wrong?

Nini ! Come.

Hello, Boukari.

Tell me, Boukari,
is there anything to drink, yes or no?

Give us two beers.

Is there any soum-soum ?

My word, old man, you're daughter
is beautiful!

Yes but it's her that drains my cash.

Bring another drink
and some soum-soum.

Here, Nini, take this.

You're giving him everything?
You're a real idiot!

Doesn't matter...

So, now what are we doing?

We're thanking God, God's name.

you heard this?

We've already done it 100 times!

We really did something.

When you came back from Indochine,

I was happy.
You had money.

Like a good griot,
I bid you welcome.

I gave you food.

Now take the bottle and drink.

You musn't spoil your heart.

So you played the horn?

It's true. I remember my return.

I brought back a lot of money.

I had my leave, but...

Well, you had what you wanted!

At least they couldn't
take me back.

God is great!
Am I dreaming or what?

No. It's me.

When did you arrive?

The day before yesterday.
God got me out of there!

It was heating up, back there!

Same as always.
But by the grace of God, I'm here.

And now, where will you stay?

Well... on our plot.

You'll be disturbed. Come with me.

There's a house for rent.

OK! That's better.

Especially for someone single!

Hello. Health. Nothing but health!

My friend has returned from Indochine,

And I almost forgot!

He's looking to rent a house.


I have a house for rent.
It's 2 000 F per month.

Come on. Let's go
have a beer.

You drink now?

- Why not?
- Me, I'll never drink.

What made me drink?
Even you,

if you went to war, you'd drink!

Yes. but I drink youki.

Bring a beer and a youki.

Tell me, friends. Do you drink

That's what we're here for!

Bring the beer.

The bottle opener.

Good. Leave it. We'll open it ourselves.

Alpha. Those girls there, they're
"worldly girls"?

Because it has to work with them.

We can call them?

Hawa, come here!

Where is he coming from?


Where is ''Imb├ęcine'' ?

No not ''Imb├ęcine'',
it's ''Indochine''.

First you go to France,

go by the Suez Canal...

then go further than Mecca.

and there, to pray,

you turn towards the setting sun.

You know this man?
It's Dan-Baba.

He sings better than Tino Rossi.

He can sing for us?

Stop the record!
He's going to sing for us.

Dan-Baba ! My friend here came
back from Indochine.

He's called Cabascabo.
You must sing for him.

Cabascabo, you slept well?

I'll see if I can get you something.

At least for two days.

It'll be goo for your work.

God willing!

I'll find you something.

Even if it's nothing but rags!

Ah you haven't finished giving gifts!

This he brought back from Marseille

It's just my style!

Cabascabo, welcome!

You came back in good health.

Cabascabo, beware of your friends.

They only want your money.

Be calm.

A soldier from Indochine
can always find work

police officer,
in the colonies...

Let's go to Cabascabo's place.

Why? There's nothing there.

Yesterday we saw it in the cinema.

It was Hamani that offered it
to him.

Fine. But you don't go see someone

just because he has money.

Cabascabo, did you sleep well?

No. I'm not alright. I need to
speak with you.

Do you know someone who'll
buy a uniform?

No but I could perhaps sell
it at the market.

I bought it for 8 000 F.

But sell it for 5 000.

- Cabascabo, you there?

- Yes, did you do it?

-After going through the whole
market I managed to...

sell it for 4 000 francs.

- Good, good. That's fine...

- Wait, I need to go out.

- Issa ! You know the girl who
comes to see me...

I haven't given her
anything in two days.

I ned to give her at
least 1 500 francs.

I'd like you to come with me.

- Hawa ! Are you alseep or what ?

- Tell me what brings you here!

- What ?
''What brings me here'' ?

I haven't seen you in two days.

- I lived with you day and night,

then nothing for two days.

And when I asked for
1 500 francs for shoes,

you didn't even answer

as if I was an animal!

- You're right. Here...

- You had money but wouldn't
give me any!

You're wrong, my girl,

if you think I have no money !

So, tomorrow at noon,

you'll take us out to eat.

- This guy, he's lost his head!

- Issa, I'm happy to see you.

You know, the girl, Hawa,
she annoys me.

She asked for more money
to dress herself.

So again...

trousers and a pair of shoes.

Sell them at the market.

Fine, OK.

No set price. I trust you.

I believe in God.

I need money

-May god give it to us!

- Back already!
It worked?

What ?
2 000 francs only ?

- I came to see you

to place a request:

I'd like to be a police officer.

- Come quick!
So you're not coming?

Bao-Dai, Hanoi,

Jalam, Saigon

I've been everywhere!

Always on the front line...

A soldier who isn't afraid to fire.

- What became of him, your soldier?

- I ate up all his money !

- To give me 2 000 francs,

he had to sell his pants!

- You'd do that ?

- Oh no. We've been
friends for a long time.

God didn't put a love story between us.

- The film, yesterday evening,
was it good?

- It was a cowboy movie.

I like cop films better.

Tonight they're playing
''Samson and Dalila''.

Fine. Come get me.

-Where's your friend?

- I came to see him.

- He needs to free up my house.

Indochine, the army,
I don't care.

He's a drinkard who hasn't payed

me in three months !

Really, I'm ashamed.

- I don't care about you're shame!

Go. No shame but take care of
you affairs!

He'll pay me in the next life...

Go. And fast!

- Cabascabo !
This isn't the army!

If you don't work I'll kick you out!

Savage ! Dog !


- Let me go!
I must get my revenge!

Eh ! Tell the white guy not
to insult me!

Otherwise I'll settle the bill!

- How are you? The old guy's here?

- He'll be back tonight,
he went to the fields.

- I'll go find him.

Give me gourd and an ax.

I won't come back here, I'll

Since man was born of Adam and Eve,

He only had himself to help.

- It's true what you've said?

- Do you have a cloth?

- No, but one day,

by God's grace, I'll have something.

- May God protect you!

So a man must act.

Cabascabo !
Do you have cigarettes?

- No! I have nothing.

- Here, 100 francs.
- Thanks. But it's too much for me.

I don't need cigarettes.

Nor alcohol, nor Kola...

I didn't think anyone wanted
anything to do with me.

And you, you didn't chase me.

I'm going. May God let us
meet again.