by J.R. Jones
This Thursday at 7 PM the Black World Cinema series continues at Chatham 14 with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's powerful Chadian drama A Screaming Man, which made its local debut at the Chicago International Film Festival last fall. As I wrote then, "The long history of civil war in Chad has provided ample material for Haroun, and like his previous drama, Dry Season (2006), this one gauges the human damage as it plays out across generations. The premise is oddly similar to that of F.W. Murnau's silent classic The Last Laugh: when a state-owned hotel is privatized, the 55-year-old swimming pool attendant is unceremoniously demoted to parking-lot gatekeeper, and the modesty of his original position only intensifies the bitterness of his fall. To make matters worse, his grown son inherits his poolside job, though the young man is safer at the hotel than in the army, whose commanders are conscripting young men to fight the rebel forces. The movie's effectiveness lies in Haroun's low-key dramatic development; he creates an emotional space where the slights of everyday life can hit like bullets." It's in French and Arabic with subtitles.
Chatham 14 is located at 210 W. 87th, and admission is only $5. For more information call (773)783-8812 or visit blackworldcinema.net. A trailer follows the jump.