FULL FRAME REVIEW: Artist shares views on life, art in ‘Book of Days’

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 10:27 AM

“Book of Days” (By Ian Phillips. Screening at 4:30 p.m. April 4
in Cinema 1 of the Carolina Theatre
during the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival)

In 2002, Adhemar Ahmad began working on his handmade, illustrated book titled “Hannibal Barca.” Ahmad is a visual artist in New York who also makes his living selling used books on the street.
Filmmaker Ian Phillips met Ahmad while a film student, and began documenting Ahmad’s story, and the story of his book.
In 2006, a publisher told Ahmad that his book would get published, but that production would take time because of his meticulous illustrations. Although the book has appeared online on the publisher’s website (www.uglyducklingpresse.org), it has not yet been published in paper form. (The publisher’s site states it will be published in September this year.)
Phillips prods Ahmad about his feelings toward the slow publication process. Ahmad always says he is patient, that it will take time for his work to see physical publication. In Phillips’ film, we see Ahmad playing chess at his book stand, and exchanging his views about life and his art in this respectful tribute.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun