Dry Season (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dry Season (2007)

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Movie Info

The landscape is so barren it looks like everyone has already been killed, but survivors remain from Chad's long years of desert war. Atim (Ali Bacha Barkaï) is a teenager, son to a man slain in... The landscape is so barren it looks like everyone has already been killed, but survivors remain from Chad's long years of desert war. Atim (Ali Bacha Barkaï) is a teenager, son to a man slain in the conflict just before he was born. His grandfather raised him, and now that the boy is fifteen, the old man has handed him a gun. Atim travels to the capital with the news still ringing in his ears that a post-war amnesty has been granted to the entire nation. He is bent on revenge. Amnesty or not, he will track down his father's murderer and put a bullet in his head. But instead of a cold-hearted killer, Atim finds him a quiet, regal man. Nassara (Youssouf Djaoro) has left killing behind and now bakes baguettes for a living. He even hands out free bread to the neighbourhood children. With characteristic precision, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun sets his characters at a moral standoff. Atim waits for the right moment to kill Nassara, even as Nassara takes on the young man as an apprentice baker. In scenes that shift between hushed tension and stark absurdity, Atim learns how to work dough and fire the oven, yet still practises wielding his weapon. Nassara, whose war wounds have left him speaking through a device he holds to his throat, observes the boy's progress but gives nothing away. Even when Atim begins to seduce Nassara's much younger wife, the older man's response is unexpected. Haroun's Bye,Bye Africa and Abouna established him as one of Africa's most important new directors. With Daratt, his signature style of controlled emotion and distilled narrative reaches a new level of refinement. Haroun's aesthetic is uniquely suited to the parched, war-ravaged landscape of Chad. This is a cinema of subsistence, from a place where life is lived marginally and characters are stripped of all but the most essential.

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Critic Reviews for Dry Season

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (6)

An intimate parable of truth and reconciliation.

April 7, 2007 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Gently and quietly told, Daratt (Dry Season) is an unassumingly political work that unfolds with the simplicity of a parable and the gravity of a Bible story.

April 6, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's austere, hypnotic third feature explores the legacy of Chad's decades-long civil war.

April 3, 2007

Deceptively simple, both in its storytelling and use of images, it's convincing as an allegory of truth and reconciliation in Chad and beyond.

October 30, 2006 | Full Review…

Using a simple storytelling style that grows stronger with each passing scene, Dry Season draws the viewer into its small two-character drama set in post-war Chad, while it offers a deep reflection on injustice and frustrated revenge.

September 23, 2006 | Full Review…

...a beautifully characterized reflection on revenge and forgiveness that is both reminiscent of and an inverse of the Dardennes brothers' 2002 The Son.

September 1, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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