Seeing in “Abouna”

Seeing in Abouna is exemplified in the first moment the two brothers see their father.  He appears to them on a movie screen.  The three layers of gaze (the audience viewing the film, the children viewing the movie, and the questionable reality of the entire scene) make his appearance seem magical, confusing, and sets the visual tone of the film.

(25:39) Father appears on screen.

(25:39) Father appears on screen.

Some external reviews site that the film is more about the cinematography of Abraham Haile Biru than the story itself, and the pain of the film is in stark contrast to its cinematic beauty.  Continue reading