"Only gradually do his actions...begin to belie the startling ferocity of his true response and the disastrous ripples of its consequences." - Livia Bloom, Filmmaker Magazine
Adam, a former swimming champion in his sixties, is a pool attendant at a hotel in Chad. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile, the country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government and the authorities demand the people contribute to the "war effort" with money or volunteers old enough to fight. Adam is constantly harassed for his contribution but he is penniless. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret.
Cast & Crew
Reviews(see the best reviews)
Roger Ebert: In a way, it is Murnau's "The Last Laugh" transplanted to an African nation in recent times, torn by civil war. I respond warmly to films that closely observe a few people and how they work and live, and this one supplied a human context for year after year of news about war and unease in remote places.
Adam was the swimming champ of central Africa years ago and now rules in his handsome uniform over the swimming pool of a luxury hotel. As perilous times come, he is demoted to the post of guarding the hotel gate. "But the pool is my life," he cries. The unique quality of the movie is to look at Adam's life, the way he values his job almost more than his son, and the way status conferred by a Western hotel has bewitched him. The film is well-made, but that isn't the point: It has a world to tell us about, it opens our lives, and for some it will be the first experience of Chad they have ever had.