Wah-Wah (2006)

02 June 2006

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A 14-year-old British boy returns to his home in colonial Swaziland to find that his father has remarried a free-spirited American woman that he has known for six weeks. A semi-autobiographical coming of age story by actor Richard E. Grant (WITHNAIL AND I), WAH-WAH is set in the late 1960s in Swaziland, as the country is set to be handed back by the British to the native people. Ralph Compton is an 11-year-old boy who witnesses his mother's adultery with his father's best friend. His parents subsequently divorce and Ralph is sent to boarding school. His father Harry descends into alcoholism as--allied to the betrayal by his wife and best friend--his position as Minister of Education is set to end with the onset of independence. Ralph returns home at the age of 14 to find that Harry has married an American ex-air hostess called Ruby, who he has known for six weeks. Ruby ridicules the snobbery of the colonials and forges a bond with Harry. Grant's film is a moving account of the breakdown of a family, juxtaposed with the breakdown of the British Empire.

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