Thursday, April 14, 2011

Un Homme Qui Crie (A Screaming Man) - Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (2010 France)

Present-day Chad. Adam, sixty something, a former swimming champion, is pool attendant at a smart N'Djamena hotel. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son Abdel. Terribly resentful, he feels socially humiliated. The country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government. The authorities demand that the population contribute to the "war effort", giving money or volunteers old enough to fight off the assailants. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son

I watched this one a while ago now but it's been resurfacing in my mind regularly. I can't quite put my finger on it, it's in the mood and tone. Quite an emotional story this one about a father and son pair working at a hotel as pool attendants in modern-day, corrupt and politically unstable Chad. The film deals with the frustration of getting old and the power shifts that occur in that process. It does this by reflecting on the shifts of power in the larger context of the country itself. I was a little unsatisfied by the end but incredibly moved in the middle and just loved the way it was shot. Virtually no sound scoring throughout as well. 4 stars