A Screaming Man
The film looks at how jealousy between a father and son can lead to tragic results. Adam (Youssouf Djaoro) is a former swimming champion who works as the head attendant of the pool at a luxury resort in Chad. Adam’s son Abdel (Diouc Koma) also works at the pool running a lot of the daily activities. When new management takes over the resort, several major cuts are made and Adam is shocked to find out that he has been fired in favour of his son. Clouded by his anger, Adam makes a rash decision that will not only affect his son but also his son’s girlfriend, Djeneba (Djeneba Kone) in ways that will haunt him forever.
Although heart-wrenching at times, A Screaming Man did not move me the way I was hoping it would. The film is not bad by any means, but it was missing that special something that I cannot quite place. I can see why A Screaming Man won a special jury prize at Cannes 2010, as it has many elements that are award worthy. Yet as a whole, it was merely a decent film and not a great one. I think part of the problem stems from the fact that I did not find the interactions with Abdel’s girlfriend all that interesting. I understand why she is necessary to the plot, but Haroun does not bring anything new to the character that has not been done better in other films.
Where A Screaming Man soars is in Djaoro’s depiction of Adam. As a man clinging to past glories, Adam sees the pool as the place that defines him. All the other workers, and several folks involved in the civil war movement still refer to him as “Champ.” Djaoro does a great job of slowly conveying Adam’s transition from jealousy to anger to unbearable guilt. It is his performance that really brings this film to life. One of the most hard-hitting scenes in the film is when Adam decides tries to stop the events that he has already set in motion. Although Adam sees this as a moment of strength and action, Haroun’s skilled direction shows that these actions, though valiant, come far too late.
As I mentioned earlier, A Screaming Man is a decent film that has many strong moments. Yet it did not provide me with the impact I was ultimately expecting. I am not sure if it was the pacing or the girlfriend arc, but it was missing that special something to make it great.