Abouna

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Time Out says

Beginning with the unannounced departure of an errant father, Haroun's second feature follows the efforts of his two sons, left with their mother in the Chad capital N'djamena, to make sense of their lives in his absence. They're dismayed, for instance, to learn that he hadn't visited his supposed place of work in two years, and even more surprised when they're convinced they've spotted him onscreen during a trip to the cinema. There's wry comedy here, but a strong sense, too, of rootless unease as the family buckles under the strain. One could view their personal plight as the by-product of post-colonial insecurities in a landlocked country blighted by the longing for escape. Primarily, though, the film engages our emotions and senses. The effortlessly natural performances, truly vibrant palette of colours and perfectly attuned, gently melancholic music from Malian guitar hero Ali Farka Touré combine with such self-evident rightness that you'll be trembling with pleasure. Touching but never manipulative, this heartfelt film has an expressive, unforced songfulness reminiscent of, say, Pather Panchali. A future classic.
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Release details

UK release:

2002

Duration:

84 mins

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