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Waiting for Happiness
Waiting for Happiness
Actor: Khatra Ould Abdel Kader; Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid; Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed; Nana Diakite; Fatimetou Mint Ahmeda; Makanfing Dabo; Nema Mint Choueikh
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2007     1hr 31min

DVD Details: Mauritania/France, 2002, 91 minutes, Color, Region 1, NTSC, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0, Widescreen for 16x9 TVs/Letterboxed on 4x3 TVs, Optional English subtitles, In French and Hassanya; Special Features: Inter...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Khatra Ould Abdel Kader; Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid; Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed; Nana Diakite; Fatimetou Mint Ahmeda; Makanfing Dabo; Nema Mint Choueikh
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French, French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

West African Delight
Eric M. Eiserloh | San Rafael, California | 07/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While not for everyone (the antithesis of a hollywood film), "Waiting For Happiness" is pure cinema at its finest, and one of the best African movies I have ever seen. Reminiscent of contemporary Iranian cinema," Sissako's poetic imagery resonates with a sense of place and describes the lives of those who inhabit it. While there is an absence of plot and scripted dialogue, as well as no particular protagonist, the story is marked by the characterizations and tempo that reveal a real community. Sandwiched between the ocean and the dessert, between ancient rituals and modern adaptations, fluctuating between hope and acceptance (life and death), always with patience, dignity, and compassion, Sissako (director of the recent Bamako) doesn't try to explain, but gives us an experience to sink into, and provides enough information for us to make sense of; everything swept by the wind...."
Not for everyone, but give it a try!
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 03/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Heremakono (Waiting for Happiness) 2002, is a movie that to fully understand the "poetic tone" of the director, you may need to see it more than once. It is clearly NOT for everyone, it moves slow, is in minimalist style and is more of one observing the culture rather than with plot and action. The film is through the poetic eyes of the director, Abderrahmane Sissako. Set in the Sahara desert that meets with the Atlantic ocean, the village is isolated, barren and with the wind howling through the desert.

Abdallah, a young man stops in his hometown village during his travels. The village is young and old settled people, adobe huts, clothes of colorful flowing robes, music, dance and a still life. And the visit to his homeland proves he isn't comfortable, can't speak the language, and he seems lost in his own homeland. He is an observer to the customs, traditional dress and the language. Unable to communicate, Abdallah learns from a young boy and is ridiculed by young women. This is a film where the young and old are closely associated, passing down songs, knowledge, customs and wisdom.

In the DVD Features, director Sissako said that without language skills, a person's point of view becomes a mode of communication. The point of view sharpens and he pays closer attention to the world around him. Hence, that is what the viewer observes, a point of view. You have to be able to grasp beneath the surface, to view the poetic language and follow the symbolic meaning. For that matter, one may not even understand it. But the viewer observes as much as the young man Abdallah. Don't try waiting for a plot to thicken or any revelations, you just observe the culture, the barriers, the meanings.

To understand this film even more, watch the special features, an interview with the director, and very important to the film, is the director's notes.

The film won the International Critics' Prize at Cannes in 2002, Grand Prize at Pan African Film Festival, and Best Prize at 2003 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.

Also included in the Features is the trailer on director Sissako's, Bamako, a film about the trial of the people against World Bank and International Monetary Fund, (IMF). I can also recommend an amusing film Hyenas, by Djibril Diop Mambety. ....Rizzo