Present-day Chad. Adam, fifty-five, 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 ... See full summary »
The lives of two brothers, who live in N'djamena, are upended when they awake one Saturday morning to find that their father has left the family. They are Amine, about eight years old, ... See full summary »
Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa,
Hamza Moctar Aguid,
Despite a paralyzed leg, Grigris, 25 year old, dreams of being a dancer. A challenge. But his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers.
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Germán de Silva,
Nayra Calle Mamani
Present-day Chad. Adam, fifty-five, 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.... Written by
I saw this on Film 4, late. The premise is a little different and my policy to watch every World Cinema offering that is aired for free had me quite keen for this French funded (& spoken) film from Chad.
It's not every day that the star character is a 60 year old former national swimming champion, who's now more than happy - and resolutely proud - of his job as pool attendant at a posh, luxury hotel. But, as civil war slowly envelopes both the country and the film, it is Adam's (aka "The Champ") son, Abdel, who is causing turmoil for his father.
As it's noticed by the foreign hotel owner/managers that Adam is taking things more leisurely these days and he gets shuffled over to gate duty, dolled up in a starched uniform, his son gets his old job. This naturally causes ripples and resentment that go beyond the Hotel.
This beautifully shot movie from director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is more observational than it is about making statements and stuffing opinion down on us. The story and the characters unfold naturally; we can take it at the steady pace that it is set and enjoy it as such. Or, you can really dig yourself deep within the different culture and attitudes to status, relationships, Imperialism and War and soak it all up. I hope to do the latter when I watch it again via the recording I made of it.
However, it is the final 15, 20 minutes that turn this drama into something much more profound and moving. I promise you, you will change your seated position, clear your throat and maybe inwardly murmur something to yourself as you sense a change of the overall stature is increased.
I'm not saying that A Screaming Man has to be seen by everybody or that it is the best Foreign language film of that year. It's different enough to get noticed, is topical without trying TOO hard and we are rewarded with a final chapter that is undoubtedly emotionally very moving. That's not a bad combination....
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