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‘You can debate an ideology, not a religion,’ says Chadian film director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

By Renaud de Rochebrune
Posted on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 10:44

Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun attends the photocall of his film “Lingui” on 9 July 2021 in Cannes. Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Gettyimages

This is a major comeback for Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, who for several years has been missing from the African film scene, of which he is one of the two great figures alongside Abderrahman Sissako. Already a regular figure on Cannes' Croisette road, Chad’s former culture minister is again in the competition - a third time – for the Palme d'Or with his new film 'Lingui, Les Liens Sacrés'.

The last feature film he presented at the world’s biggest film festival was Grigris, back in 2013. And the last award he won was the 2010 Jury Prize for Un Homme Qui Crie, four years after winning a similar prize in Venice for the superb Daratt, Saison Sèche.

He also made a discreet return to the Côte d’Azur in 2016 to screen his documentary Hissein Habré, Une Tragédie Tchadienne. It recounted the courageous and determined fight of the dictatorship’s victims to obtain reparations for abuses suffered in the 1980s.

Political interlude