Basically makes it 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.
(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.
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.
Two brothers, living in N'Djamena, find their lives changed completely when they awake one morning to find that their father has left. are upended when they awake one Saturday morning to find that their father has left the family. As they try to find him, the family bonds are stretched and strained, perhaps beyond breaking point as their mother feels unable to handle her children.
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.
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.
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.
This movie was the same pace the whole time it didn't do much to grab you attention. The movie did stick to the script well it kept its structure. The music choice in the movie was good. I wish they would have shown parts of what actually happens to the father. Also, they should have shown the part where he took amines inhaler. I feel they left out a lot of parts that could have made the movie more enjoyable.
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.
The vacuum created by the absence of "responsible" authority (in this case overly masculine). The father/actor/director, with his opening accusatory glare, is our technologized/globalized imagination, guilty. Children are abandoned to play out a disarrayed and forced coming-of-age doomed to repetition and the same subjugation that caused their father to flee.
A poignant tale that unfortunately misses the mark when it comes to plot development. Romance is shoehorned into the last few minutes a bit messily, and some loose ends never got tied. The love between the two brothers is sweet and adorable, but not enough to hold my interest beyond that. I think I would have enjoyed this film a bit more if it had more focus on their father.
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.