Waiting for Happiness

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 3.0

Beautifully minimal - and slightly morose - film from African director Sissako features some gorgeous shots of life on the coast of Mauritania with its simplicity and lack of modern accoutrements - its lead character, a quiet young man, returns to his home village before setting off to Europe and all its fervor, but feels out of place (Thomas Wolfe was right about that). It is a bit meandering and a smidge over-reliant on symbolism (the light bulb represents the West, with its technological progress), but it's filmed with such grace that it hardly matters - in a time when so many movies try cluttering in so many plots in, this one refuses to be rushed. Since Bamako is cluttered and preachy - the exact opposite - it indicates that the director possesses range, although if given a choice between active Sissako and passive Sissako I much prefer the latter.