Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2002
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Khatra Ould Abdel Kader, Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed, Nana Diakite, Fatimetou Mint Ahmeda, Makanfing Dabo, Nema Mint Choueikh, Santha Leng
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries: France / Mauritania
Language: French / Hassianya (English subtitles)
UK: 95 mins
UK Certificate: U contains brief sight of dead bodies
UK Release Date: 24 October 2003


WAITING FOR HAPPINESS is the multi-award winning second feature film from acclaimed African director, Abderrahmane Sissako. Critically hailed as a 'gem of a picture' with 'poetic reflection on themes of exile, travel, home and displacement', WAITING FOR HAPPINESS is visually exquisite and soulful.

Nouadhibou is a small seaside village on the Mauritanian coast. Amongst its white- washed buildings and melodic songs passed down through generations, lives intertwine while waiting for a hypothetical happiness.

Seventeen-year-old Abdallah visits his mother before emigrating to Europe. Unable to speak the local language, the melancholic young man finds himself a stranger in his own country. Traditional colourful fabrics interest him less than the latest European fashions. He shies away from village customs and festivities. Yet Abdallah observes this touching universe so unknown to him - Nana's sensual young woman's sorrows; a Chinese immigrant's romantic karaoke; Maata - an old handyman's frustrations with faulty electrical hook-ups, and Khatra, an orphaned young boy with wide eyed curiosity and a natural ability to evoke hope and tenderness.

Abderrahmane Sissako is the director of the acclaimed "Life on Earth", which was presented at Cannes (Director's Fortnight), Toronto, Sundance and New York. Born in 1961 in Mauritania, Sissako spent his childhood in Mali. He later spent over 10 years in Moscow where he studied at the VGIK Film Institute. In his shorts, documentaries and feature-length fiction films, Sissako has often explored the experience of exile and the relationship between African and Western societies.

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