Abouna (Our Father)

 
 

Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad 2002
84 mins. Chadian Arabic and French dialogue with English sub-titles

 
Summary:
 
The lives of two brothers, who live in a small town in Chad, are upended when they awake one Saturday morning to find that their father has left the family. They are Amine - 8 years old, playful and asthmatic, and Tahir - 15, handsome, quiet, his brother's protector. The boys go in search of their father and find only trouble. The father's departure also debilitates their mother. The movies, a musical uncle, a village Koran school, a poster of a Moroccan beach and a young deaf woman figure in the resolution. Is there any place for happiness, or is happiness only in storybooks? With a soundtrack by acclaimed Malian multi-instrumentalist Ali Farka Touré.
 
What the Critics say:
 
"A splendid achievement for the nascent African film industry. And it is also a fascinating film, notable for its empathetic heart as well as its political guts.” (Shirley Sealy - Film Journal International)