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Les misérables. 2006. Sudan. Directed by Gadalla Gubara. In Arabic; English subtitles
The father of Sudanese cinema, Gadalla Gubara had become blind by the time he made this fascinating homespun adaptation of Les Misérables, relying on his daughter Sara, a wonderful filmmaker in her own right, to help him finish it. The rousing populism of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel—in which goodness and justice triumph over corruption and abuse and the meek inherit the earth—must have seemed appealing if rather far-fetched in a country that by 2006 lay in ruins, its decades-long civil war leaving millions of people dead, maimed, enslaved, and uprooted.
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