Set in the seaside community of Nouadhibou in Mauritania, writer/director Abderrahmane Sissako's languorous, bittersweet Waiting For Happiness (Heremakono) is a beguiling work.
A traditional plot is replaced with a series of diffuse, often amusing vignettes concerning everyday life in this place of transit. Teenage Abdallah visits his mother before he emigrates, but has forgotten the local language; cheerful orphan Khatra assists elderly handyman Maata in connecting electricity to a house; and the nomadic Makan is quizzed by the police after discovering a body washed up by the sea.
Traditions conflict with modern global culture, yet while characters yearn to discover the world beyond Nouadhibou, escape proves problematic. Alongside Oumou Sangare's sorrowful score, the beautiful cinematography gives this enigmatic picture the feeling of a particularly vivid dream.