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243 Ratings


Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
France, Netherlands, 2002


The lives of two brothers, who live in N’djamena, are upended when they awake one Saturday morning to find that their father has left the family.

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Abouna Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

What are people saying?

  • Elijah Koome's rating of the film Abouna

    Great film, really. Mahamat-Saleh gives us a peek into the tragedy of a childhood where responsible adult authority is absent. The film is also a quiet commentary on the many troubling aspects of Sahelian countries, not least among them, migration to more developed countries.

  • Karl J. Kipling's rating of the film Abouna

    Interesting for its glimpse at what life is like in Chad (cinema as transport to distant lands one will never get to visit). The music is nice. The kids are nice, though they don't look at all related. Really I can speak neither very well nor very ill of this picture. It's perfectly pleasant but also somewhat clumsy and undistinguished.

  • Jacques de Villiers's rating of the film Abouna

    Really glad MUBI is showing some Haroun. This is a good movie, but not his best (for that see Daratt and A Screaming Man, his next two features). It loses steam and structure in the last third, but the rest manages to be quietly captivating. Here Haroun first reveals his penchant for capturing the ways absence marks those left to fill the void.

  • SiIencio's rating of the film Abouna

    Haroun rather randomly concocts a potion hinting at an alleged ode for freedom. Towards the end of the film Haroun has lost patience, or perhaps has turned uber euphoric, and his wizard's hand has resorted to a new batch of random ingredients. All in all, despite a somehow restrained but sunny cinematography, the film is unintentionally vague and weak, rather unremarkable and quickly forgotten.

  • dAlton Anthony's rating of the film Abouna

    There is a difference between having patience and having my patience tried. This is the former: a gentle but powerful film. It stays true to its vision and pace. Beautiful portraits, subtle character studies. Packs a powerful punch without somehow sliding into melodrama like it could so easily have done. A real find.

  • PropheticHeine's rating of the film Abouna

    This movie's coarse-like and seemingly careless rendition of abandonment, depravity, and even death has made me take up a more negative opinion on this film. It's too real for me to pick up. It fails to romanticize the themes I stated before, but instead brings to us its own psychological twist. Perhaps it's the realism that the director meant to perform? In short, it was an entertaining demo. on these themes.

  • Kelvin Thompson's rating of the film Abouna

    Basically makes it to two stars by the skin of its teeth. It's VERY slightly evocative (water as freedom, exchanging blood as marital commitment, revealing hair as revealing oneself, etc.) and so understated that it kind of crosses the line into being plain and boring. It really becomes a problem because of how broad and sedate the movie is, which is a real shame, given how engaging its premise sounds on paper.

  • Slappy McGee's rating of the film Abouna

    (3.5 stars) Surprisingly intimate look into the life of two kids trying to figure out how to navigate their difficult surroundings. The extremely touching relationship between the two brothers is the centerpiece of this film. It's very well told and the story portrayed is utterly heartbreaking. However, the ending weakens the journey we have traveled with these boys, which is disappointing. But overall a good film.

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