|7:00 a.m.||WAITING FOR HAPPINESS|
Abderrahmane Sissako Mauritania/France, 2002
(Heremakono). A man buries a radio in the sand; a woman gives singing lessons to a young girl with a throaty, otherworldly voice; a group of women and men smoke, chat, and flirt. Set in and around the West African town of Nouadhibou, the latest from Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako (Life on Earth) eschews traditional narrative for a series of rich, spellbinding images. While the film's examination of time and place—the pull of home, the desire for change, the agony of departure—is certainly deep, the experience isn't heavy, but rather a gentle, quiet meditation. It's a portrait of a place on the sidelines of society yet on the brink of major change, and it's likely among the most visually arresting films you'll see all year.
• Written by Sissako. Photographed by Jacques Besse. With Khatra Ould Abdel Kader, Mataa Ould Mohamed Abeid. (95 mins)