2001-2010African CinemaArthouseChadDramaMahamat-Saleh Haroun

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – Abouna (2002) (720P)

Abouna is a gently heartbreaking look at the lives of two boys growing up impoverished and fatherless in Chad. Filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun mixes in telling bits of documentary realism with his story of the two boys’ lackadaisical search for their father. The filmmaker takes his time with the tale, lingering on details, like a long shot of the two boys meandering across a field, roughhousing and walking on their hands. Haroun also pointedly displays posters for Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, Idrissa Ouedraogo’s Yaaba, and Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise outside the little movie theater that the boys visit. Perhaps this is a name-dropping way of letting the audience see his influences, but the signs are there in his filmmaking, too. The plot gets much more dramatic when their frustrated mother (Zara Haroun) sends Amine (Hamza Moctar Aguid) and Tahir (Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa) off to a strict Islamic boarding school. While the boys are treated severely there and beaten when they attempt to escape, their plight is not depicted in a melodramatic fashion. There’s always a sense of life unfolding in the film. Haroun’s two young leads do exceptional work, particularly Aguid as the sickly younger boy. Abouna isn’t especially thrilling, either in its technique or its story line. But it’s an effectively low-key and moving work, with moments of goodhearted humor that make it enjoyable, despite the grimness of its setting

2.77GB | 1 h 24 min | 1280×694 | mkv


Language(s):French, Arabic

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