Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
Original title: L’Homme Qui Crie
France/Belgium/Chad, 2010. Pili Films, Entre Chien et Loup, Goi-Goi Productions, TV5 Monde, Fonds Francophone de Production Audiovisuelle du Sud, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Canal+, CineCinema, Tax Shelter de Facoz, Pranarôm International, AR Media, Casa Kafka Pictures, Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Federal de Belgique. Screenplay by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Cinematography by Laurent Brunet. Produced by Florence Stern. Music by Wasis Diop. Production Design by Ledoux Madeona. Costume Design by Celine Delaire. Film Editing by Marie-Helen Dozo.
A fascinating study of cultures clashing in multiple ways. Adam works the swimming pool of a luxury resort in N’djamena, Chad that has been appropriated by Chinese owners, its ritzy setting a complete contrast to the struggling lives of its employees in their own homes. After years of holding his post, he is devastated to learn that he is being relegated to sentry duty at the front gates while his son is taking over the pool. At the same time, the brewing civil war outside the hotel is gaining ground and demands are being made upon citizens to support the effort financially. Our hero is being pressed to contribute despite the fact that he cannot afford it, while his son is being drawn into the fray as a fighter.
The story would suggest something of a maudlin melodrama, but with pensive, beautifully crisp images and long passages without overt explanation, this film is something grand and majestic to behold, rarely does a concept with so much potential to be a ponderous and pretentious bore avoid those dangers with such exceptional finesse. It’s the perfect antidote to anyone who found a similar film like Hotel Rwanda to travel its territory without any style or gravity.
Cannes Film Festival Award: Jury Prize
Toronto International Film Festival: 2010