Culture, Globe, Screen, World

Intimate Stories of Chad

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, master of small conflicts and local stories, has become one of the leading story-writers from the African continent in just over a decade, thanks to four films shot in his country of origen, Chad.

From the 13th May, the Frontline Club in London began screening the film by this African film maker and writer who turns 50 this year.  The showing looks at his entire film career since its beginning with the documentary “Bye bye” in 1999 until his latest work “A screaming man” in 2010 which won the Jury Prize in the last Cannes Film Festival.

Haroun has spent the last 30 years of his life in France where he went to film school although the ideas for his films are inevitably linked to his country of origin.  Issues such as inter-generational conflict relations and reflections of his own experience are recurring themes throughout his work. His second film, “Abouna” (2002) describes two boys whose father disappears into a desert landscape, while his third feature film, “Daratt” (2006), tells of the desires of a young apprentice baker to avenge the death of his father.

As in his latest work, “A screaming man” may be considered a parable.  The story, set in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital tells the drama of an old swimming champion, who at 60 years of age, due to circumstances was forced to take a tragic decision, moved by the war which has hit his country, economic difficulties, end of hope and self-esteem.

Similar to the film “Daratt”, there is an underlying scene of civil war which has wreaked havoc in the central African country since 2005 and in both films the leading roles also face moral dilemmas. Haroun, on the other hand, does not avoid political conflict relating to migration, poverty, family dramas y the war.

He is always outlining simple narratives but well kept and forceful messages, without wasting images or words in the narration.

Date and location: From the 13th to the 30th May.  Frontline Club, London, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ

(Translated by Louise Jefferson – Email: louise@jeffersontranslations.com)

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