Otherwise, Africa will just disappear."Yet Abouna isn't a political film; like Kiarostami, Haroun seeks common understanding through the minutiae of everyday life.
"Making a movie is just like a gift for me," proffers Haroun.
He tells Fiona Morrow about the personal pain behind his gorgeous-looking second feature Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is nervous; his second feature film, Abouna, is about to be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. "I'm going to the bar now, to drink some whisky."The fortification was unnecessary: he returns after the final credits to rapturous applause.
Abouna is the story of two African brothers, Tahir and Amine, whose father ups and leaves one day, devastating their family life.
I wanted to go deeper, to find the solitude, the difficult moments."Against such melancholy, Haroun pits a cinematic palette so rich in its colour, so gorgeous in its framing that the pain becomes palpable.I played a film-maker called Haroun – I was my character.It was fiction and documentary – a movie within a movie – like a Russian doll."The film, despite picking up two prizes at the Venice Film Festival, wasn't widely distributed.Asked by an audience member who his influences are, Haroun answers without hesitation: "Kiarostami, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Takeshi Kitano." I have to meet this man.The next morning, he accepts my enthusiasm gracefully.