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Mina Mohammad Khani,
On the seacoast of Mauritania, some wait to go to Europe. Khatra, a spirited boy, wants an electric light so he can read at night. A stoic older man, Maata, tries to wire the room. Abdallah, a youth on his way to Europe, says good-bye to his mother. Nana looks back on the death of her daughter and her trip to Europe to inform the father. A girl takes singing lessons. Rooms have small windows, looking out onto foot traffic; transistor radios provide some link beyond. Huge ships anchor in the distance. The train comes through, stopping briefly. Offering a cigarette is a gesture of hospitality. Sand dunes and the ocean dominate the landscape. Hope springs amidst small expectations. Written by
While not for everyone (the antithesis of a Hollywood film), "Waiting For Happiness" is pure cinema at its finest, and one of the best African movies I have ever seen. Reminiscent of contemporary Iranian cinema," Sissako's poetic imagery resonates with a sense of place and describes the lives of those who inhabit it. While there is an absence of plot and scripted dialog, as well as no clear protagonist, the story is marked by the characterizations and tempo that reveal a community sandwiched between the ocean and the dessert; between ancient rituals and adaptations to modernity, fluctuating between hope and acceptance, life and death, always with patience and dignity. Full of quiet compassion, everything swept by the wind, "Waiting For Happiness," doesn't explain everything. Instead, it gives you an experience that is palpable for you to make sense of.
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