Return to tiff.’s home page

Screaming Man

A Screaming Man

Un Homme Qui Crie

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

  • Country: France, Belgium, Chad
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: French, Arabic
  • Producer: Florence Stern
  • Screenplay: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • Runtime: 92
  • Programmes:

One of Africa's preeminent film artists, Haroun returns to themes of family and loyalty in war-torn Chad. A father and son work together at the pool of five-star hotel, but the civil war forces life-and-death choices upon them.

screening times

    • Wednesday September 15
    • 6:15:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 2
    • Thursday September 16
    • 4:45:00 PM
    • Sunday September 19
    • 6:00:00 PM
    • AMC 6

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun has quietly assumed a place among today’s best filmmakers. His second feature, Abouna, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and established his style of simple profundity. His third feature, Daratt, won five prizes at the Venice International Film Festival and was described by the New York Times as having “the feel of a gift.” With A Screaming Man, Haroun refines and distills his already austere approach. He returns to his rich theme of sons pitted against fathers, but focuses this time on the father’s perspective.

At a luxury hotel in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, Adam (Youssouf Djaoro) works tending the swimming pool, which sparkles incongruously in the middle of the poor, dusty city. A former swimming champion and local hero, Adam has managed to get his son, Abdel (Diouc Koma), hired at the pool as well. But when new Chinese owners buy the hotel, there is only room for one job and Adam is forced to cede to his son. He hides his humiliation, but it festers. With a long civil war still raging in the country and Adam too old to join the fight, he is constantly pressed by the neighbourhood strongman to support the struggle, but is more impotent than ever to help.

A Screaming Man draws these narrative elements towards its moving climax with calm precision. As in Haroun’s previous films, events here feel guided by the inevitable hand of fate. Such is Haroun’s control of sound and image that a scene where Abdel’s girlfriend discovers shocking news about him is devastating to witness. The narrative builds with a string of discoveries, culminating in a final scene that embodies the full tragedy of this African father’s story. The film’s title is taken from the great poet and pan-African Aimé Césaire: “Beware of assuming the sterile attitude of a spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of miseries is not a proscenium, a screaming man is not a dancing bear….” Haroun transforms that caveat into an elemental, heartbreaking tale.

Cameron Bailey

director bio

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was born in Abéché, Chad and studied cinema at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français in Paris. His short films include Maral Tanié (94), Goï-Goï (95), Sotigui Kouyaté, un griot moderne (97) and Un Thé au sahel (98). His feature film debut, Bye Bye Africa (00), screened at the Festival. His other features include Abouna (02), Darratt (06), Sexe, gombo et beurre salé (08) and A Screaming Man (10), which won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

full credits

Principal Cast: Youssouf Djaoro, Diouc Koma, Emil Abossolo M'Bo, Hadjé Fatimé N'Goua, Marius Yelolo
Florence Stern
Laurent Brunet, AFC
Marie-Hélène Dozo
Dana Farzanehpour
Wasis Diop
Production Designer:
Ledoux Madeona

Canadian Distributor:
 Film Movement  
International Sales Agent:
 Pyramide International
Production Company:
Pili Films
Shopping Cart

    Share This

    • Digg
    • Share

    Like This

    film stills and media