Over the course of a ten-day visit to Uganda, Abbas Kiarostami (Taste Of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us) uses his camera to capture and caress the faces of a thousand orphans.
Although a documentary about the ravages of AIDS and civil war in Uganda may seem at first like a radical departure, one of the most remarkable things about ABC Africa is the way that Iran's most celebrated auteur makes such unlikely material very much his own. In true Kiarostami style, an impressionistic, deceptively simple record of a journey becomes the film itself. This striking visual poem is full of echoes from his oeuvre: the tracking shots from car windows, the dirt-road villages, the majestic landscapes and, above all, the emphasis on the resilience and resourcefulness of children.
Alternately heartbreaking and optimistic, ABC Africa records a people struggling to survive. Filled with laughter and music, and pulsing with life, Kiarostami's vision attests to Africa's sunny spirit in the face of so much adversity.