GREAT AFRICAN FILMS, VOLUME 3: Daratt (Dry Season) & The Desert Ark - The third installment in this series of award-winning films from Africa includes Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Dry Season (2006, 95 minutes, French and Arabic with English subtitles), a subtle and often surprising film from Chad about the relationship between a young man and his father’s killer set at the end of the country’s civil war when the government has granted amnesty to war criminals - and Mohamed Chouikh's The Desert Ark (1997, 90 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles), Two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love, their forbidden relationship pitting family against family - 185 minutes.
DARATT (DRY SEASON)
Chad, 2006. The government has granted amnesty to all war criminals. Atim, 16 years old, is given a revolver by his grandfather so that he may kill the man who killed his father. Atim leaves his village for N’djamena, seeking a man he does not know. He quickly locates him: former war criminal Nassara is now married and settled down as the owner of a small bakery. With the firm intention of killing him, Atim gets closer to Nassara under the guise of looking for work, and is hired as an apprentice baker. Intrigued by Atim's attitude toward him, Nassara takes him under his wing and teaches him the secrets of making bread. Over the weeks, a strange relationship evolves between the two. Despite his disgust, Atim seems to recognise in Nassara the father figure he has always needed, while Nassara sees the teenager as a potential son. One day, he suggests adoption.
| Chad | 2006 | 95min | drama in French and Arabic with English subtitles | Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Dir. |
Winner "Special Jury Prize" Venice Film Festival 2006
Winner Bronze Yennenga Stallion, FESPACO 2007
“Haroun is an uncommonly precise filmmaker who guides Daratt to an unusually satisfying ending.” - TIME OUT NEW YORK
THE DESERT ARK
Romeo and Juliet in the Algerian desert. Amin and Myriam are secretly in love. Their families are rivals and when their relationship is discovered, conflict is inevitable. From inside the cave where they have taken refuge, the two young people hear the cries of a senseless murderous raid. A universal metaphor to denounce the horror of all extremist violence, The Desert Ark is a splendid and terrifying visualization of contemporary reality..
| Algeria | 1997 | 90min |Epic Drama in Arabic with English subtitles | Mohamed Chouikh, Dir. |
Winner “Best Cinematography" Special Jury Prize FESPACO 1999.