In addition to excellent performances from the two young lead actors, the film has am accomplished visual style. It's beautifully shot with a superior sense of style and colour, catching the feel of the settings nicely without either falling into cliche or locking the action too specifically in a time or place. This means that even those of us who have never experienced such a life can identify with Tafir and Amine's situation. In this sense, the film feels like a classic film (The Bicycle Thief comes to mind). But it's also very specifically African; the plot can be read allegorically as the story of Chad itself, a people adrift and badly in need of returning to their true roots (which predate both colonial rule and Islam). It isn't necessary to look this deeply--although the basic plot feels thin, these elements lend the film a weight that makes it something worth looking out for.
dir-scr Mahamet-Saleh Haroun
with Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa, Hamza Moctar Aguid, Zara Haroun, Mounira Khalil, Koulsy Lamko, Garba Issa
release UK 22.Nov.02; US 20.Feb.04
Brothers in arms. Tafir and Amine search high and low for their father...
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