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LFF - A SCREAMING MAN (Un Homme Qui Crie) [2010] dir Mahamat Saleh-Haroun

A SCREAMING MAN is most definitely a very beautifully shot piece of cinema. It tells the story of Adam, a former swimming champion and now pool attendant at a hotel taken over by the Chinese (personified through Mrs Wang), who thinks of the pool side as his life. His 20-year old son, Abdel, is his assistant and loves taking pictures of everything around him. However, war is raging outside of N'Djamena and when Adam is not able to contribute to the war effort with money, he is threatened with being sent to the army. Not only does Adam have to grapple with this situation, the hotel are cutting personnel and Abdel is handed his father's position, who in turn, has to take the position of gatekeeper, to his utter displeasure. Adam, through a suggestive conversation with the District Chief, who repeatedly harasses him for his monetary contribution, Adam decides to make the contribution to the war: his son. Once Abdel is away, Adam is handed back his old job. However, war getting nearer to the capital, the hotel has no more purpose. Starting to feel guilt creeping up on him (great acting from Youssouf Djaoro), he is lost on how to go about saving his son. To make matters worse, a heavily pregnant girl turns up at his house, saying she is Abdel's girlfriend carrying his child. Adam, feeling even guiltier because of the girl, finally decides on a plan to rescue his son. 
The film is an interesting story and the acting is top notch. The cinematography is gorgeous with pastels and strong colours intermingling under the soft focus - it has a sort of hazy, dreamy look. The pace was a bit too slow, making the film feel longer than it was. But I am glad that this film made it to the festival as not a lot of African cinema is easily accessible or showcased. Saleh-Haroun is a big talent in African cinema and, along with Sembene, he may just have become a favourite of mine. 

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About Tania Martins

Tania Martins

Filmmaker. Student. Blogger. Film Critic. Festival Organiser. Freelance Cameraperson. Explorer. Longboarder. WELCOME!


United Kingdom

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