Waiting for Happiness

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Waiting for Happiness
Waiting for Happiness.jpg
Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Produced by Maji-da Abdi
Nicolas Royer
Written by Abderrahmane Sissako
Music by Oumou Sangare
Cinematography Jacques Besse
Edited by Nadia Ben Rachid
Distributed by New Yorker Films
Release date
May 19, 2002 (2002-05-19)
Running time
90 - 96 minutes
Country France
Language Hassaniya
Mandarin Chinese
Budget €1.45 million

Waiting for Happiness (original title: Heremakono) is a 2002 drama film written and directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. Main characters are a student, who has returned to his home in Nouadhibou, an electrician and his child apprentice, and the local women. The film is characterized by a succession of scenes of the daily life of the characters which are unique to their particular African and Arab cultures, while borrowing from tropes of Tayeb Saleh's Season of Migration to the North (موسم الهجرة إلى الشمال). The viewer must interpret the scenes without much help from narrator or plot, while the structure of the film hangs on a series of mundane but visually arresting moments, many of which are repeated in other works in Abderrahmane Sissako's opus, including scenes at a barber shop and a photo booth, also present in his earlier La Vie Sur Terre and later Timbuktu. The film presents typical Mauritanian moments of beauty, struggle, alienation, and humor, which are experienced by groups socially divided from each other, such as Bidhan women drinking tea and gossiping, West African migrants passing through Mauritania to get to Europe (and finding an unsuccessful comrade washed ashore). The young protagonist who has returned interacts with all of these groups as an outsider, as he struggles to remember even his own Hassaniya Arabic dialect, but prefers instead French. Many of the themes and characters presage Sissako's 2014 film Timbuktu, and both explore liminal Sahel identities authentically situated in everyday life. Waiting for Happiness premiered at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section.[1]



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Waiting for Happiness". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 

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