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ABC Africa (2001)

Unrated | | Documentary | 24 October 2001 (France)
Documentary account of the AIDS crisis in Uganda.

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Abbas Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, travel to Kampala, Uganda at the request of the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development. For ten days, their camera captures and caresses the faces of a thousand children - all orphans - whose parents have died of AIDS. Recording tears and laughter, music and silence, life and death, the film attests to Africa's sunny resilience in the face of so much suffering and disease. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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24 October 2001 (France)  »

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ABC Afryka  »

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Throwing Away All Cinematic Restrictions
30 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I read the reviews to this movie: some of them reproach to Kiarostami that he missed to depict the real situation, that his view was superficial. I think these reviews missed actually the point. Kiarostami has never pretended to explain the universe he was filming. He gave only, in all honesty, a strict account on what he witnessed, nothing more. It's his truth, nothing but his truth, anything more would be hypocrisy.

It is the style from all his movies: letting each new situation encountered to develop on its own. There is something new here, truly revolutionary: using the tiny video camera gives total freedom to anything, spontaneity becomes fully unrestricted. Spontaneity and interactivity: the kids are playing with the camera, inventing games and dances, like all kids from any place on Earth.

And so ABC Africa marks one of the most important moments in the history of cinematography: the hand-held video camera throws away any conventions and liberates personages and places from the tyranny of the scenario, and ultimately from the tyranny of the director.


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