Abouna

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  • Drama, Foreign , produced in 2002 France, Chad, Netherlands
  • Actors: Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa, Hamza Moctar Aguid, Zara Haroun, Mounira Khalil
  • Directed by: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • Rating: 6.6 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: This sorrowful story begins when Tahir (Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa) and his little brother Amine (Hamza Moctar Aguid) learn that their father has abandoned them, and they embark on a desperate quest to bring him home. Roaming their city in central African Chad, they check with relatives, look in local shops, and wander the border bridge between Chad and Cameroon. They even believe they see him in a film at a local cinema, and later steal the film reel to confirm their suspicions. Left on her own and with Amine suffering asthma attacks because of the stress, their single-mindedness wears on their mother, Achta (Zara Haroun). Breaking under her burden, she sends the boys to a remote Koran school, a dusty, harsh place filled with aggressive boys and an unforgiving teacher. Despite Tahir falling in love with a local girl, the boys fail to thrive in this bleak environment. Soon, the family becomes forever marred by a tragedy even more shocking than that which initially split them apart.


    The starkly beautiful Chadian landscape reflects the desolation the boys feel as the family slowly deteriorates. And the pacing of the story is incredibly slow, underscoring the way the boys refuse to accept that their father abandoned them. Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, whose BYE BYE AFRICA was the first feature film ever produced in Chad, creates a sensitive portrait of a family in crisis with ABOUNA, transcending national and cultural borders to touch the heart of every father-son bond.
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