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Visual & Performing Arts
Movie Review
English (U.S.)
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The occurrence of color in Abouna (Movie Review Sample)

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Occurrence of color in Abouna
Course title:
The Occurrence of color in Abouna
The movie begins with two African boys walking on the street, the older one, Tahir, looks into the distance as if he is trying to find something while the younger one, Amine, looks down and appears to be oddly silent and disappointed. The movie appears to have been shot from a really low angle. It tells a simple story: two brothers age fifteen and eight try to track down their father who had recently moved to Morocco and abandoned them. They want to find him and understand why he left. They unsuccessfully search for him and end up in trouble. Their mother then takes them to a strict Koranic school, which they do not like. Afterward, they escape from the school to continue searching for their father, until the older brother falls in love with a mute/deaf girl called Khalil.
This France/Chad co-production is pleasant to watch but did not appear as an African movie made for and by Africans. Instead, the film felt like a cinema piece targeted squarely at North American and European audiences who looked for something that was mildly exotic, yet was still within their comfort zone. The director adopts vivid and controlled colors, as well as restrained tones while lending the movie an empathy and wisdom of his own. Exquisitely shot using a palette of saturated primary colors as well as earthly tone, the movie offers a captivating glimpse into a world rarely represented in films and cinematography in general. Box (67) pointed out that movies with stunning use of color inspire the viewers, since the perception of color is indispensable in our visual experience. The color theory in film was developed because of a growing desire to interpret presentation meanings as well as directorial vision of art films, and color theory in film could be any combination of color present in the film. This includes saturated colors, black and white or costume design (Brown 56). Hick and Schultz stated that when colors are saturated, they are made brighter and brilliant (77). The director in this film has distinctively and exquisitely applied the use of saturated colors in the bright orange shirts of the boys and the yellow dress of the girl, and these colors were used to accent particular scenes in the film.
Writer/director Haroun made a very visually ravishing film in Abouna. It is skillfully composed and applies a bold use of color, which makes the yellow dress of a young girl, or the orange and blue of the boy’s shirts, pulse against the pale desert. The Abouna’s brothers in the film wear the same clothes but various effects of color have been used throughout the movie. The director stated that he worked with orange and blue among other colors in order to build the memory within a short duration of time. This, he added would enable the viewer to not only focus on color but also the character in the film. The director also pointed out that t...
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