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Waiting For Happiness [2003] [DVD]

Khatra Ould Abder Kader , Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid , Abderrahmane Sissako    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £10.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Khatra Ould Abder Kader, Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed, Nana Diakité, Fatimetou Mint Ahmeda
  • Directors: Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Mar 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001EYTB6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,517 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


At the edge of the vast Mauritanian desert lies the small coastal town of Nouadhibou. There, seventeen year-old Abdallah is visiting his mother before emigrating to Europe. The melancholic young man finds himself a stranger in his own country; unable to speak the local language he shies away from village customs and festivities and is less interested in traditional dress than the latest European fashions. Yet Abdallah becomes involved in the lives of the inhabitants of this strange and unfamiliar world: the sorrowful but sensual young woman Nana; the aged handyman Maata, whose attempts at installing electricity lead to frustration; and the wide-eyed and optimistic young orphan boy Khatra. Abderrahmane Sissako's poetic and beautifully photographed film is a delicately observed and poignant examination of the conflict between progress and tradition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yearning for the Good Life. 7 Aug 2011
This is one of those films you are either going to love, or find as interesting as watching paint dry. If you like a film with a coherent plot to follow then you may struggle with this one. The talented director Abdherrahmane Sissako is more a poet than a storyteller and gives us many beautiful images to ponder on. His common themes are on exile and the relationship between the western and the African world, a theme he also explored in his more recent film "Bamako". To this end we get images of large ships moored off the shore, a young woman relating her experiences in Paris, a young man alienated by westernisation amongst his own people and unable to speak his mothers own Hassanya language. Amongst this the Saharan winds blow across a land sandwiched between ocean and desert, and there is a pervading atmosphere of decay and neglect. Perhaps most poignant is when an old man relates how he has never heard from a good friend who emigrated many years before, which he relates as if in mourning. From our ivory towers in the west it is interesting to get a glimpse of the yearnings that motivate people to leave their homelands in search of streets paved with gold.

The film is impressively shot in Mauritania on the West African coast where Sissako was born. This is one of the few films to be made in that starkly beautiful desert country, but given its remoteness this is perhaps not so surprising. Sissako later moved to his fathers country Mali, which gave him great insight into sub Saharan culture. He is one of the few sub Saharan directors to make it internationally, and it is very easy to see why from this film. Sissako evokes deep feelings through his powerful imagery which is the stamp of a fine artist. Watch the light bulb in the sea and the body on the beach to see what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate integrity 7 Dec 2011
Living next to the sea in the white windy sand dunes, with Sahara desert all around.

Waiting for. Sat inside a listless life. Waiting that isn't procrastinating. Cus there's nothing waiting to be done.

If you don't mind waiting - if you actually prefer waiting as an antidote to too much busy doing - you'll like this film.

The wind whirling around that sand. Jan Gabarek saxophone comes out of car stereo. Surprising touch of contemporary modernity.

More like a vernacular documentary than a scripted drama. Watch it like you listen to music, like you were that young daughter singing along with her mother playing the kora.

Reminiscent of Iranian film The Day I became a Woman. The sea, sand, the white light, vivid cotton colours of clothes worn, those sheets flapped by the wind. Relationships - between old electrician and his young apprentice for example - having the symbolic tenderness of a timeless parable.

A languid quiescence bleaches out of almost every scene. I can feel myself wanting to lie back and be as quiet as the characters are.

This is a proper film. By proper i mean owned by the director, belonging somewhere personal and close to heart. Not a made for cinema confection.

There's something beautiful - as well as truthful - about the compassionate integrity of this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars mesmerising 22 May 2013
By Vicky
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
a mesmerising insight to life in North Africa, with the tension of a desire to be elsewhereWaiting For Happiness [2003] [DVD]
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