Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
Direct from Cannes, where it won the Jury Prize, comes the latest from francophone Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Abouna, NZIFF03). The film follows Adam, a former swimming champion who takes great pride in his work as a pool attendant at a luxury hotel. He is devastated to learn that he has been replaced by his only son, but when local authorities begin to pressure him to enlist his son into the army to fight an insurgency, Adam is placed in a difficult and complex situation.
“What begins as a modest portrait of a happy family gives way to a story in which the encroaching civil war decimates not only the country, but also the soul of a man who believes the pool is his entire life.” — Manohla Dargis, NY Times
“Haroun’s tender but unsentimental regard for his characters allows his storytelling a natural gravitas thoroughly suited to the simultaneously unfolding private and national tragedies.” — Robert Koehler, Variety