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 ...
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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
I found this Directors first film, Abouna, utterly delightful on the second viewing, the first it dragged and I found myself checking my watch. Personally,I think there's a need to get into a different mindset for African films, they move at a much slower pace. Often, things are shown, not explained and require the viewer to work a lot harder at extracting meaning.
Darrat is no exception, there were several episodes I wondered what the point was, but they offered fascinating windows upon a society and country of which we remain in ignorance. For example, a long camera pan across a dusty street strewn with discarded plastic bags.
The characters such as the baker, unable to speak since his throat was cut, could be read as metaphors for our relationship with Africa. Does Africa and her people ever have a voice? If she speaks, are we listening? There's not much I feel I want to add to the excellent and insightful comments from previous reviewers, except I think this film can be read as that - a metaphor for African countries troubled and turbulent relations, within, between themselves and the West. The grandfathers blindness symbolises perhaps a society unable to 'see' its way forward. Or something.
A subtle, fascinating film which will repay subsequent viewings.
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