A.k.a. "Our Father". Set in the director's native Chad, the sensuous "Abouna" begins with the striking image of a man in Western dress crossing a desert in the Southern Sahara. The man, who pauses briefly to powerfully stare down the camera lens, is the father of 15 year-old Tahir (Ahidjo Mahamat Moussa) and Tahir's eight-year-old brother Amine (Hamza Moctar Aguid). After being told by their beautiful mother (Zara Haroun) that he has left them, the two brothers undertake a momentous journey in an attempt to fill the void left by his absence. A lucid, contemplative piece of cinema, "Abouna"'s pleasures are multiple. Told with a remarkable narrative economy that carries both the simplicity and import of a parable, the film also counts amongst its vitues faultless performances from the two young leads, an evocative rendering of time and place courtesy of Abraham Ahile Biru's magnificent cinematography and a haunting, meditative score by Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure.
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