Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s 1998 feature blends fact and fiction in a sentimental journey back to his hometown in Chad. The protagonist is an expatriate filmmaker (also named Haroun) in Paris who returns to attend his mother’s funeral. The trip stirs his nostalgia for old movie houses and kindles a desire to make a film about Chadians who want to better their lives by leaving their country. Haroun has a feel for life and customs in the alleys around his family home, and he’s particularly good at conveying with frank humor the hopes and frustrations of the townspeople. But then he veers into precious intellectuality, and the talk turns to cultural crisis and cinema being “stronger than reality”—it’s as if Godard had suddenly injected himself into a documentary about a former French colony. 86 min.