ABC Africa Review

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Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s reputation as a masterful director was cemented with the Palme D’Or he received for the justly revered drama A Taste Of Cherry in 1997.

ABC Africa, commissioned by the UN’s International Fund For Agricultural Development, brings him back to his roots as a documentary filmmaker.

Shot in ten days on digital video in Uganda, it is an attempt to highlight initiatives designed to help children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, and to celebrate their resilience in spite of their circumstances. While this optimism is refreshing, ABC Africa adopts the patronising tone of a charity campaign video, and it often veers towards naive sentimentality.

There is no righteous anger and, apart from some guarded criticism of the Catholic Church, there is little attempt to address the political context of the crisis.