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Jeonju Digital Project 2008

ABOUNA

 

Director_ Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
 
Chad, France 2002 81min 35mm color feature Fiction
Review

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, one of the directors participating in the Jeonju Digital Project 2008, selected his second feature film Abouna(2002), as the film he hopes to show our audience. With his last feature film Darrat(2006) having been screened at the JIFF last year, this film perfectly shows the characteristics of this director, who has the ability to strike a perfect balance between sentimentality and detachment. His films effectively persuade us to believe in the power of humanism as a sort of artistic attitude to the world. Brothers Tahir and Amine fall into despair upon finding out that their father is missing. No matter how long they wait, their father doesn´t show up. One day at the movie theater - which has posters of Charlie Chaplin´s The Kid(1921), Jim Jarmusch´s Stranger than Paradise(1984), and Idrissa Ouedraogo´s Yaaba(1989) on the outer wall - they are surprised to discover their lost father on the screen. They sneak into the theater and steal the film, yet soon get caught for their theft and are sent to a strict Koran School. For the most part, Abouna features comic situations and dialogues, yet suddenly changes the atmosphere by depicting the two brothers´ desperate search for their father as a roundabout utterance on the social reality of Chad. Without being hasty, the director carefully injects emotion into every single shot. We can also feel the strength of the director´s cinematic gaze in the images of the two brothers walking through the desolate scenery and in the faces of the kids standing in rows.

CREDIT
  • DirectorMahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • ScreenplayMahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • ProducerAbderrahmane Sissako, Guillaume de Seille
  • CinematographyAbraham Haile Biru
  • MusicDiego Moustapha Ngarade
  • EditorSarah Taouss-Matton
CastHamza Moctar Aguid, Zara Haroun, Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa
DIRECTOR
Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN
 
Born in 1961, his first feature film Bye-bye Africa won Best First Film at Venice Film Festival 1999. He then went on to direct Dry Season, Special Jury Award, in Venice Film Festival 2006, A Screaming Man, Jury Prize, in Cannes Film Festival 2010, Grigris, Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival 2013. In 2010, he received the Robert Bresson Award for his complete works. Hissein Habre, A Chadian Tragedy is his first documentary film.
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