ABC Africa - 2001
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
A minimalist documentary that shows the plight of orphans in AIDs ravaged Uganda. Kiarostami traveled to the war-torn country at the request of the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development. Shot only with inexpensive handheld cameras, the viewer is not far removed from what the auteur Kiarostami saw for himself on his 10 day journey.
Color, 1 hour 24 minutes, Farsi/English
No Longer Ranked
|Abbas Kiarostami||As Himself|
|Marin Karmitz||As Himself|
|All People Featured||As Themselves|
|Director of Photography||Seifollah Samadian|
|Sound Recordist||Mohammed Reza Delpaak|
This movie marks Kiarostami's first experimentation with Digital Video.
A billboard for condoms that has been partially covered up so as not to offend.
One of the crew's drivers explains that the devout Catholics of Uganda obey the church's order not to use any form of birth control.
The crew drives by one of the area's booming businesses.
In one of the more haunting images of the documentary, Kiarostami happens upon a child's body as it is being taken away by a nurse.
The nurse breaks up a cardboard box to use as a stretcher for the dead body.
In a happier moment, Kiarostami and the audience are treated to a song from a local boys' choir.
Wedding day in a house that has been decimated by the country's civil war.
A recently adopted child wanders about a restaurant at the crew's hotel.
The child's new parents explore her country one last time before taking her back to Denmark and her new home, they hope to be able to tell her of her birth country when she inevitably asks.
By A.O. Scott The New York Times
Halfway through "ABC Africa," Abbas Kiarostami's new documentary, the screen goes dark. It is midnight, and the power has been turned off in the Ugandan city of Masaka, leaving the director and members of his small crew, who had been filming a cloud of mosquitoes, with no illumination. And for about five long minutes, the audience is also in the dark, listening to idle conversation (in Farsi, with English subtitles) as the portable, battery-powered digital video camera keeps rolling. Continued
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