ABC Africa
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Uganda, March 2000. At the request of the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, Abbas Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, arrive in Kampala. For ten days, their DV camera captures and caresses the faces of a thousand children, all orphans, whose parents have died of AIDS. It records tears and laughter, music and silence, life and death. It attests to Africa's sunny resilience to so much suffering and disease.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Will do nothing to advance or detract from the reputation of the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"The you-are-there style ultimately enhances ABC Africa's ability to get inside the soul of Uganda, and of the viewer."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Despite the locale, ABC Africa is both new and familiar for those who know Kiarostami, and it's a great introduction for those who don't."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"An upbeat personal film telling in an amiable touristy way the story of the Ugandan orphans."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"So muddled, repetitive and ragged that it says far less about the horrifying historical reality than about the filmmaker's characteristic style."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"A gorgeous and surprisingly profound meditation on a place and its people."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A movie of seemingly limpid transparency and tremendous, understated compassion."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Unexpectedly humane and lovely and not at all preachy."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Very much a home video, and so devoid of artifice and purpose that it appears not to have been edited at all."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"There are more shots of children smiling for the camera than typical documentary footage which hurts the overall impact of the film. It's makes a better travelogue than movie."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone,
"Kiarostami has crafted a deceptively casual ode to children and managed to convey a tiny sense of hope."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The people in ABC Africa are treated as docile, mostly wordless ethnographic extras."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"There is a sense here of an encroaching darkness humbly met, unburdened by one-note feelings such as fear or joy and simply experienced as a profound moment of enlightenment."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine
"Kiarostami profoundly displays Uganda's life and culture through his touristy pictures, as deceptively simple as the alphabet"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"ABC Africa, with its impressionistic style, doesn't provide much in the way of facts ... but it does provide glimpses of the dying."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
More reviews for ABC Africa on Rotten Tomatoes