Through the African Lens: Cinema of the Diaspora
Daratt (Dry Season, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad, 2006, 95 mins.),
“An unassumingly political work that unfolds with the gravity of a Bible story,” according to Manohla Dargis of The New York Times. Set in Chad after a general amnesty has set war criminals free, this heart-wrenching revenge story tells of a grandfather who sends his grandson to kill the man who murdered the boy’s father. Winner of five awards at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. This is followed by The Desert Ark (L’Arche du Desert, Mohamed Chouikh, Algeria, 1997, 90 mins.), a variation on Romeo and Juliet set in the Algerian desert. A young couple must face inevitable conflict when their rival families disc over their secret love. Taking refuge in a cave, they listen to the sounds of a senseless campaign of violence and murder, which is the culmination of the extremism that has long divided their two communities. Nominated for the Golden Leopard at the 1997 Locarno Film Festival. In Arabic with English subtitles.