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Waiting For Happiness Review

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A teenager’s realisation that his obsession with France has estranged him from his own community is interlaced with vignettes about a mother turning to prostitution on the death of her daughter, an orphan’s dreams of being an electrician and a young girl

★★★★

Sub-Saharan African cinema has always focused on the clash between tradition and progress. But rarely have the themes of migration, social displacement and cultural imperialism been explored with such a delicate mix of melancholy at the passing of custom and the wistfulness of the exile-in-waiting who knows departure is his only hope of survival.

Strikingly photographed on the coast of Mauritania and largely improvised by an amateur cast, the story of a teenager's realisation that his obsession with France has estranged him from his own community is interlaced with vignettes about a mother turning to prostitution on the death of her daughter, an orphan's dreams of being an electrician and a young girl learning the music of her ancestors.

It's impossible to remain unmoved.

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