Bye Bye Africa

Bye Bye Africa ★★★★

Though very low-budget and I'm pretty sure is just standard definition filming, director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun uses the zero budget to his advantage by blending reality and fiction in completely indistinguishable ways. Besides a few moments that had to be staged, 90% of this film could be either real or scripted and I wouldn't know.

Bye Bye Africa is from a country I have never once associated with film, the country of Chad. And that dissociation I have is as held by Chadians towards film, with cinemas closing nationally and citizens completely perplexed as to why anyone from the country would want to be a filmmaker.

The story is of a filmmaker returning to his home country from being in France for years to document the evaporating film scene of Chad. Towards the beginning of the movie he mentions Godard to a Chadian elder, trying to convince him the merit of the medium. That Godardian refence is more than just a line in the movie, as the influence hangs over a film that transitions between fact and fiction in a country in transition.

Film is such a powerful tool.

Paul liked this review