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Adam, a 60-something former swimming champion, is a pool attendant at a hotel in Chad. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile the country is in the throes of civil war. Rebel forces attack the government while the authorities demand the population to contribute to the "war effort," with money or volunteers old enough to fight. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret.
by Christopher Bourne
The Father of His Children:
Fathers and Sons in the Films of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
From an interview with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun on A Screaming Man
The question of the relationship between parents and children is very important to me. What can we do to transmit values from one generation to the other? Why do we fail in some cases, with our child becoming a different person? Why are there break-ups in the family chain? I think these questions are at the heart of all societies.
A Screaming Man begins and ends with the same three elements: a father, a son, and a body of water. But the beginning and ending situates these elements in radically opposite ways. The first body of water is a swimming pool, the second a river. In between is a morality tale of war, globalization, sacrifice, and guilt. These elemental, Biblical themes permeate A Screaming Man and most of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's other films, most pertinently the two features immediately preceding his latest: Abouna (Our Father) (2002) and Daratt (Dry Season) (2006). Relationships between fathers and sons are a major focus of these three films, and Haroun explores his other themes through the filter of this familial relationship.
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Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
"A Screaming Man" is a beautiful film about a man who selfishly puts his welfare above his son, and out of guilt, regrets his decision. I only gave this film a "3" because of the agonizingly long takes of a man showing his regret, guilt and anguish. This only belabors the point and leaves the audience frustrated with the pace of the film. I suppose his soul was screaming, but no need tobeat the bush. On the bright side, some of the long takeswere beautifully shot of the Chadian plains.
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