Waiting for Happiness
Filmfest 2004

Nouadhibou is a small, sunbleached town on the Mauritanian coast, a port of transit for Africans attempting to emigrate to Europe. Seventeen-year-old Abdallah visits his mother one last time before heading north. While fluent in French, he can’t speak the local language and finds himself a stranger in his own country. But he has Europe on his mind. Still, as time passes, he begins to take interest in the people he observes: a sensual young woman’s sorrows; a Chinese immigrant's romantic karaoke; old handyman Maata's frustrations with faulty electrical hook-ups. And the orphaned young boy Khatra with his wide-eyed curiosity and natural ability to evoke hope and tenderness... – “That sense of rootlessness pervades this poetic film, and adds extra poignancy to one of its most powerful images: The drowned body of a would-be emigrant, washed back ashore like the wrecked ships that litter Nouadhibou's coastline.” Ken Fox

tags: Feature film

Cast: Khatra Ould Abder Kader, Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed


Director: Abderahmane Sissako