Thoughts On: A Screaming Man - Liquid Body


A Screaming Man - Liquid Body

Quick Thoughts: A Screaming Man (Un Homme Qui Crie, 2010)

An ageing man's job falls into jeopardy under new hotel management.

A Screaming Man is an incredibly subtle film about fatherhood. Without any melodrama, and by perceiving conflict from distances that ensure character, never spectacle, are the focus, this then sees an ex-champion swimmer confront the possibility of his son taking over his position at the local hotel pool whilst rebellion and war spark in the far-off periphery.

Following a similar structure to that of Abouna (Our Father), Haroun weaves through themes of familial separation and existential, religious doubt. This movement between themes is encompassed by a larger motif of water. At many levels of our main character's life and consciousness, water is incredibly important. As mentioned, he is an ex-swimmer and works at a pool - a job he retains with pride and sees as his life. Water is then implied to be apart of his past as he struggles to keep it in his present alongside his son. In the abstract superstructure of this narrative, water seems to represent life in a literal and transcendental manner. As religious themes then come into play, water becomes a body of life and a symbol for nature as a force of existence that our main characters grows to have a complicated and emotionally provocative relationship with.

Without wanting to delve into any serious plot details, I have to recommend A Screaming Man as a subdued realist drama about wanting to cry out to patriarchal figures (literal fathers and an abstract god), but simultaneously being unable to find a means for catharsis.

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