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also known as Un homme qui crie

A Screaming Man2010

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  • 4.0
"A quiet, tender, finally wrenching story of an individual at the intersection of the personal and the political" wrote Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. The Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is fast becoming African cinema’s premier filmmaker; 2010's A SCREAMING MAN solidified his standing. His days as a swimming champion behind him, the graying yet still regal Adam works as a pool attendant at a resort hotel along with his adult son. When new Chinese owners lay Adam off, however, and when civil war begins to brew, he makes a fateful decision to fight for his job (and possibly lose his son). Haroun's rich cinephilia is in full blooom here; from the hotel-employee-gone-downhill narrative of F.W. Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH to the slow-burning, Yasujiro Ozu-like photography, A SCREAMING MAN is a work at a director at the height of his powers. - Jason Sanders

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"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


1 member likes this review

another powerful portrayal of the horrible consequences of misguided masculinity, what rests to be done is to change it.

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Member Reviews (4)

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top reviewer

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.

2 members like this review

another powerful portrayal of the horrible consequences of misguided masculinity, what rests to be done is to change it.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

You'll say this movie is slow, and it is, for quite a while, with all the slowness of dignity: not the ceremonial dignity of "Pomp and Circumstance," but the personal, individual, human dignity of its characters, up until they must move fast, noisily. Manohla Dargis in her NY Times review again responds sensitively and generously; that is to say, responsibly to the movie's making and presentation. Yes, there's movie history here in "A Screaming Man" having been developed out of Murnau's "The Last Laugh," but what matters is

your present viewing of these beautiful people acting with so much restraint in the face of catastrophe. It is very much to the point that this movie is so well made, because its sophisticated technique endows its poignant matter with broader grace, a searing implication, that we may term classic. At one point, Adam, the so-called screaming man does a few sit-ups, and in those physical gestures, as in every movement the man makes, his character emerges, in this instance revealing the movie's basic conflict, which is that of Adam with himself and against himself. No words needed.

Powerful film. Beautifully shot and acted.