Dry Season (2006) - full transcript

Chad, 2006. After a forty-year civil war, the radio announces the government has just amnestied the war criminals. Outraged by the news, Gumar Abatcha orders his grandson Atim, a sixteen-year-old youth, to trace the man who killed his father and to execute him. Atim obeys him and, armed with his father's own gun, he goes in search of Nassara, the man who made him an orphan. It does not take long before he finds him. Nassara, who now goes straight, is married, goes to the mosque and owns a small bakery. After some hesitation Atim offers him his services as an apprentice. He is hired then it will be easy for him to gun down the murderer of his father. At least, that is what he thinks...



Where are you?

Ladies and gentlemen.

You are listening
to national radio.

Everyone is waiting

for the results of the Commission
of Truth and Justice.

In precisely five minutes,
the President of the Commission

will address the nation.

Atim, where have you gone?

They're announcing the news
on the radio.

The President of the Commission
of Truth and Justice.

Fellow citizens,

the Commission of Truth and Justice

has finally finished its work
on crimes committed

during the civil war.

During our work,
which has taken six months,

we have interrogated

200 war criminals,

and heard over 600
victims and witnesses.

The Commission makes
a solemn appeal

to end the cycle of war
that has eaten away at our country

for more than 40 years.

Thus the Commission
of Truth and Justice has decided

upon a general amnesty
throughout the land...

Grandfather, how could this happen?

Atim, where are you going?


belonged to your father.

It hasn't been used in a long time.

My son...

was as brave as a lion.

Be cautious.

Be careful.

Nassara is a dangerous man.

I shall go into the desert.

I shall pray God to watch over you.

When your mission's over,

you'll find me under the jujube tree.

God protect you.

Be careful.


Who are you looking at?

Talk, fool. I asked you a question.

Scared, are you?

My father's killer was never charged.

He lives in total freedom.

I never knew my father.

He was killed before I was born.

That's why I'm called Atim,
the orphan.

Hey, that's enough. Stop, stop.

You want to kill him? That's enough.

- Watch it, you.
- Watch it!


Dear God!

You're not from N'djamena.

Where are you from, yokel?

Don't call me that again, OK?

I don't know you, you don't know me.

Wait! Let me talk to you.

You know what? I like you, kid.

No "kid", either.

All I wanted was... Wait!

You're bleeding.


My name is Moussa.

And you?

This is my aunt.

- Hello, Biba.
- Hello, son.

This is a friend.

He'll stay with us for a few days.

Hello, ma'am.

- He's from America.
- America?

- Yes.
- And I'm from Mars!

You're always bringing people home.

This isn't a hotel.

It's not every day
we get someone from America.

Come on.

Take it.

Is it dirty money?

Who are you, Mr Clean?

You're tiresome.

I'm tiresome? Simple country boy!

You know the story of the guy

who wants rid of his shadow
at any price?

This man runs everywhere.

All the time. Like a madman.

Each time he stops,
he turns around

and sees his shadow behind him.

One day his shadow says, irritably,

"Why tire yourself out?

"You'll only get rid of me the day
you accomplish your mission."

You lose. You lose.

Just what do you want?

Not charity.

If it's work you want, come back tomorrow.

A?cha, bring me a glass.

This is my wife, A?cha.

Making bread

requires love and attention.

Without love,

the bread is not good.

You see?

You like it here?

Then I'll make a great baker of you.

Are you from Moussoro?

No, Ab?ch?. In the Wadday region.

Where did you get your scarification?

Will you come to the mosque?

You are Muslim, aren't you?

It doesn't matter, I was like that before.

Before what?

Going to the mosque won't redeem you.





Yes, Moussa.

No, no.

I don't want to carry on
with these little scams.

I didn't come here for that.

Yes, we can meet up.


So are you!

Yeah, yeah. Sure.

Sometimes I can't control myself.

I can even be dangerous.

You know, I've done a lot of harm
in my life.

Like what, for instance?

I go where I want, Nassara.

If you're not happy, complain to the WTO.

Why did you marry him?

He's too old, is that it?

It was my parents, I had no choice.

Tell me, what is this thing?

It was during the civil war.

He was sleeping.
Someone tried to slit his throat.

"A?cha, bring me my shoes."

About the bread...

I forgot the yeast.

You still won't come to the mosque?

The unrest continues.

This morning, several
hundred people demonstrated

in front of the Ministry.

Our reporter gathered
some reactions.

This amnesty imposes total impunity.

As long as impunity
reigns in this country,

there'll be no peace.

The blood our families shed
must be paid back.

We will continue to demonstrate
our indignation...


May God curse the electric company!

Nothing but trouble.

What is your father's name?

My father?

Do you really want to know?

Have you lost something?

Soon it is Ramadan.

I'll be alone in this great big house.

Breaking the fast alone is hard.

I want you to keep me company.

Come and live here.

My back is killing me!

God in heaven!

You like your room?


You know the ropes now.
Today you can work alone.

Just don't forget the yeast.


Going to the mosque?

Is your back still bad?

Who's this young man?

This is my son.

Good old Nassara! You hid him well.

Listen, you.

You're not my father.

You got that?

Atim, please, don't leave me alone.

Help me put on my support belt.

Take whichever you like, it'll come in useful.

A man needs a gun.

We're looking for Mr Abdallah Yussuf,
known as Nassara.

You must come to the police station
tomorrow at eight.

The new bakery reported you.

You attacked the driver

and you broke his...

Hey, kid,

it does you good to piss.

As the Italians say,

"Whosoever doesn't piss in company

"is a voyeur or a thief."

You get it?

But I know you.

I know you.

Hello, brother. Do you have a cigarette?


I'm Adoum Abatcha's son.
Remember him?

My baby. My poor baby.

We're not working today.

Let's go home.

God has abandoned me, Atim.

Nobody around here likes me, I know that.

You hate me too. I can see it in your eyes.

Do you love me?

Not even a little bit?

Say something.

Let's go home.

I want to adopt you as my son.

For that, I need your parents' agreement.

Your father's, especially.

Where is your father?

Atim, please wait.

He likes you a lot, you know.

He'd be so pleased.

Do it for me.

It's over, I'm going.

Going where?

Can't it wait?

The feast of Ramadan is near.

Son, listen.

You're very important to me, you know.

Since you've been here, I've felt alive.

I'll come with you.

To meet your family.

You can't do that.

I want your father's permission

to adopt you.

We'll live together.


You're not alone?

You brought him?

He hasn't forgotten me, has he?

I am Oumar Abatcha.

May he suffer the same fate as my son.

May he feel the same humiliation.

Have him undress!

Execute him.

What are you waiting for?

Your hand must not tremble.

Finish him off.

Did your hand tremble?


Then you are a man, my son.

Translation by Mark Robert Goodwin

Subtitles edited by Yasmeen Khan