There is no screaming in A Screaming Man. In fact, the main character, an aging swimming instructor and lifeguard, Adam Ousmane (Youssouf Djaoro), at a four-star hotel in the capital of Chad, never goes far above or below being a mellow fellow. He is mellow when he is cleaning the pool, mellow when he is feeding his wife slices of watermelon, mellow when he is watching a news report about dead rebels and victorious government forces, and mellow when he gets demoted from swimming instructor to gate attendant. Though his mood at the poolside is the same as his mood at the front gate, internally he is being eaten alive by humiliation. Swimming constitutes the core of his being and meaning on earth. As a young man, he was a star swimmer, and as an old man, he is respectfully called "Champ" by everyone he meets on the streets. In his eyes, the loss of the pool is nothing but the destruction of all that he is.

To make matters more painful, the owner of the hotel, a Chinese woman, hands the pool job to Champ's young, handsome, and charming son, Abdel Ousmane (Dioucounda Koma). The former swimming star becomes jealous of his son's success. This jealously balloons until it's popped by a very bad decision. The decision succeeds in returning the pool job to Champ, but at a terrible price. In short, A Screaming Man is a brilliant film about post-independence African leadership. From Zimbabwe to Libya, it's the same fucking story: Old African leaders (usually former revolutionaries) refuse to let go of power, to retire, to give the youth—the next generation—an opportunity to shape the future. The stubbornness of African leaders always ends, as this film ends, in tragedy. recommended

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