Banel & Adama

Banel & Adama ★★★★

Woah. Full of rich, masterfully crafted imagery; features fantastic (and appropriate, considering the plot concerns a drought) use of light & water and some compositions and camera movements to die for. The stunning final sequence will probably end up on the list of best things I saw this year in the movies.

You could certainly accuse the storytelling of being audaciously vague, but the strong central image (a couple slowly excavating a house inexplicably buried in sand in order to settle in it) is so delicious that it's hard not to love. Besides, I think the film's ambiguous approach prevents its takes on some very familiar themes from feeling too simplistic – Banel & Adama is, at its core, a meditation on tradition vs. rebellion that doesn't caricaturize either side, psychologizing instead of judging its characters.

A definite recommendation for the kind of sickos who don't mind a movie being mostly carried by its immaculate visuals and a couple of loosely painted ideas, and a very promising debut feature.

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