Chad, 2006. After a forty-year civil war, the radio announces the government has just amnestied the war criminals. Outraged by the news, Gumar Abatcha orders his grandson Atim, a ... See full summary »
Chad, 2006. After a forty-year civil war, the radio announces the government has just amnestied the war criminals. Outraged by the news, Gumar Abatcha orders his grandson Atim, a sixteen-year-old youth, to trace the man who killed his father and to execute him. Atim obeys him and, armed with his father's own gun, he goes in search of Nassara, the man who made him an orphan. It does not take long before he finds him. Nassara, who now goes straight, is married, goes to the mosque and owns a small bakery. After some hesitation Atim offers him his services as an apprentice. He is hired then it will be easy for him to gun down the murderer of his father. At least, that is what he thinks... Written by
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's story is remarkable in it's starkness of setting
the desert of Chad - and in the manner in which it unfolds. This is a
two-hander in which there is very little dialogue - one can't talk and the other won't. This creates an almost surreal element to the film, where hatred seethes through silent glares.
When the Chad Commission for Truth and Justice grants amnesty to some 200 war criminals, the elderly Gumar Abatcha gives his dead son's pistol to his orphaned grandson Atim and dispatches him to kill the murderer of Atim's father. Living far away, Nassara is a dangerous man who now ekes out a living as a baker, trying to forget his past. When Atim finds him, he insinuates himself into Nassara's life with the intent of exacting revenge. Dry Season would make an excellent companion film to Death and the Maiden (1994), Roman Polanski's thrilling film version of a play about political repression and revenge in Central America.
I find it unfortunate that we have to wait for festivals to see films like this (I saw it at the Melbourne International Film Festival). It depicts a culture we know virtually nothing about, is visually stunning and was thoroughly engaging. An excellent film.
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