25th Oct 2018
Emmanuel Gras - 2018 96 mins
Language Swahili/French

A documentary in which a Congolese man chops down a tree, makes charcoal and hauls it 30 miles to sell. Sounds dull, but it’s mesmerising.

Score: 68.42%

Some members' comments:

Powerful stuff – hopeful. Just about surviving. Amazing photography. A depiction of human grit and determination. Very powerful. We need to know more about Africa. At times like a descent into Hell. Inspirational. What hardship, agony, expectations dashed. Brilliant depiction of the sheer physicality and precariousness of everyday life. Not something we experience very much here! We don’t know we’re born! An indomitable spirit, but oh the pain of the human condition. Incredible camera work. An excellent film depicting the poverty in parts of Africa. An excellent portrait of a life of unimaginable hardship. Amazing photography – powerful! Relentless, but powerful. A graphic reminder of how hard life is in some areas of the world. Memorable but painfully slow and long. Great take on the power to survive. Made the viewer angry. Interesting, but painful to watch. I think I’d have spent the charcoal money on a weapon then gone back for those vigilantes. How dare we complain about our ‘hard’ lives. A hard film to watch on several levels. Dragged in the end. Puts things into perspective! Thank God I’m a Catholic, but poignant memories of my 5 years in Nigeria. A desolate description of a life. Confusing at times. A stark reminder of how life can be. A social message rather than entertaining. Dull? Dull! Mesmerizing! Mesmerising? A complete waste of time. Mesmerising? Oppressing more like. AGM could have started 94 minutes earlier! Oh dear! Never realised how long 80 minutes are. I’m getting the point, but 20 mins would have been enough.