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Homecoming: A Review of Cholo

The film Cholo by Muzna Al-Musafer wakes with Cholo, a 10-year-old boy, unable to close his eyes and sleep; he can’t wait for dawn. In this 21-minute highly artistic work the themes range from family reunion, race, nostalgia, marriage and friendship.

When Cholo meets his half-brother for the very first time, it turns out they are physically different in many ways notably, Cholo is far darker in complexion than Abdullah. But as they say, blood is thicker than water. A rapport engulfs the brothers. As Cholo’s grandmother, with whom he used to live, discusses marriage and child upbringing with his father, the children decide to find their own world.

In their time together, life lessons are taught and brotherhood established on sacrifice and trust. “To hunt,” Cholo says to Abdullah, the city boy, “you need concentration and patience.” This is as important in the wilderness as it is in the city. Perhaps this is a technique that can also be praised in the making of this film.

The director dwells not in acting, but on the usage of words and choice of pictures. In the wilderness, we, the viewers, are shown a giant tree with thorny trunk. Cholo knows the name and use. Cholo talks of hunting clouds and keeping them until his mother came to set them free. There is obviously more to these expressions than meets the eye.

Then there is the exchange of gifts and a band of brotherhood which, even their father and grandmother, cannot comprehend. Cholo explores, among other things, how the bond between two people is unknowable by anyone not within it.

by Dare Dan

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