Waiting for Happiness
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Abderrahmane Sissako (BAMAKO) has established himself as one of Africa's leading filmmakers. This hypnotic tone poem confirms Sissako's talent for capturing the essence of a particular place through evocative imagery, low-key comedy, and close observation of everyday life. In this case, the place is a spectacularly isolated, wind-scoured cluster of adobe buildings perched on a bleached desert plain that ends abruptly at the blue ocean. The lives of its inhabitants, in keeping with this austere environment, are pared down to two basic choices: adaptation or exile. In the latter category is Abdallah, a citified college student who temporarily returns home and, unable to speak or dress like a native, becomes painfully, comically alienated. Opposed to him is Khatra, an alert, curious boy apprenticed to the wizardly local electrician, who demonstrates how apparent oppositions (such as magic/technology, globalization/village life) might be reconciled through improvisation and patience. The precision of Sissako's compositions evokes Antonioni and Ozu, but the loose narrative structure is closer to Altman and Wenders. WAITING FOR HAPPINESS spins its overlapping stories and intersecting characters into a prismatic cascade of enigmas, epiphanies, deadpan gags, and haunting images. J. Hoberman of THE VILLAGE VOICE described the film as 'refreshing… as welcome as a cool breeze on a summer afternoon' and David Parkinson of EMPIRE declared 'it's impossible to remain unmoved.'
4 STARS… Visually intense, emotionally rich. ----Harper Barnes, ST. LOUIS DISPATCH
LOVELY… [a] gem of a picture. ----Elvis Mitchell, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Status of Waiting for Happiness as "art" object:
This film mobilizes two competing aesthetic strategies: art film & realist. Read more
<strong>Heremakono</strong> (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2002)
I really, really wanted to like this movie--there are a few things about it that really shine, but it... Read more