Present-day Chad. Adam, sixty something, a former swimming champion, is pool attendant at a smart N’Djamena hotel. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son Abdel. Terribly resentful, he feels socially humiliated.
The country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government. The authorities demand that the population contribute to the “war effort”, giving money or volunteers old enough to fight off the assailants. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son…. –Cannes Film Festival
Born in Chad in 1961, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun left the country during the civil war of the 1980s and relocated to France, by way of Cameroon. There he worked as a journalist before studying at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma in Paris. He is now more than a dozen years into his career as a filmmaker, shooting primarily in Chad. This career has so far produced three feature films and a number of shorts that have made Haroun one of the leading lights in African cinema. He excels at spinning narratives that begin with easily recognizable situations – usually the loss of a parent – and expand to encompass allegorical and political reflection on the state of Chadian society. Often calm on the surface, Haroun’s filmmaking belies this calm with simmering strains of anger and melancholy. While occasionally compared to the work of Iranian directors Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, perhaps because of their deceptively quiet surfaces, Haroun’s films recognizably belong to an African tradition… read more
A great drama, thoughtful in its story while, portraying the Chad Civil War in the background with sounds of planes becoming more and more prominent in the soundtrack and the setting become sparser, almost touching on a doomsday scenario where a father has to find himself as his small world slowly disintegrates. It’s a quiet film, which some would say goes against the title, but the emotional core strengthens it.
"African cinema is generally woefully overlooked by the West, and the filmmaking being done in Republic of Chad has been particularly invisible
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"By Sunday evening the strongest competition film, at least for me, was the deceptively straightforward A Screaming Man, from the Chadian