Asad (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Asad (2012)





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A young man is torn between right and wrong as he tries to make a future for himself in this short drama. Asad (Harun Mohammed) is a thirteen-year-old boy growing up in the poverty and chaos of Somalia. While his homeland has been torn asunder by war, Asad dreams of living a peaceful life and earning a living as a fisherman. However, many of those around Asad have chosen to live outside the law, and are pressuring him to throw in his lot with the pirates who prey on those from other lands. Asad was shot in South Africa, using a cast drawn entirely from Somali refugees who had never acted before; director Bryan Buckley and producer Mino Jaroura were inspired to make the film after interviewing a number of Somali exiles while making the documentary short No Autographs. Asad was honored at several major film festivals, and was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award as Best Live Action Short Subject.

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Critic Reviews for Asad

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Audience Reviews for Asad

Set in Somalia and starring Somalian refugees, yet doesn't feel quite as sentimental as you'd expect. It feels a bit disconnected from it subject and isn't so much a complete story as much as a series of small events. Certainly the weakest of the 2013 Oscar nominated live action shorts. Harun Mohammed is good as the titular Asad, and you want to root for his strong will, but the film doesn't really give you too much to root for. Ultimately, it just drags for the short run time and doesn't really leave you feeling much of anything.

Nick Martucci
Nick Martucci

Looks great, but falls short. This could have been a much better film with some more direction, but it is solid enough to deserve an Oscar nod.

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

The story behind this Oscar-nominated live-action short is more interesting than the film. A Somali boy is torn between the pull of piracy and the mundane subsistence of fishing. The production values of Asad are strong and the characters interesting-maintaining an upbeat attitude and hint of humor even with the constant threats to survival. However, the story line lacks drive, and the funny but dissonant end offers no answer to the premise of this live action short. Most of the actors in Asad are Somalian refugees director Bryan Buckley (known for his Super Bowl ads) met in a Kenyan refugee camp after they were forced from their country. The leads, 12- and 14-year-old brothers Ali and Harun Mohammed, were illiterate; and Buckley is now paying for their schooling in Cape Town, South Africa, where the film was shot. He is also working with the governments of South Africa and the United States, trying to get the boys the necessary visas (complicated by their refugee status), so they can attend the Academy Awards ceremony. Asad may not be award worthy, but it seems that there should be a special gold statue-or perhaps a halo-somewhere for Bryan Buckley. ~~The Curt Critic ~ Liz ZĂ©landais ~ ~~

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