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This is a loving, gently told story located in Central Australia in the 1890's, about mixed cultures (Afghan, Australian Aboriginal, and European). It is a hard environment and it is captured in the true colours of the harshness of bush Australia. The cast do a wonderful job in portraying the emotions of the clashes between the cultures, particularly Alice Haines as Jila and Aden Young as Johann. A love story with an anguished background. Not to be missed if you like serious films without the sensationalism or drama of Hollywood. Tenderly directed by Mojgan Khadem. In the words of the publicity for the film: "This is a story of Jila. Conceived against her mother's will, born between two worlds, abandoned by love, cheated by death, removed from her faith and from her place. Given no choice, no say. All her life men decided how she would live, what she would dream, who she would worship, who she would marry. Yet no husband or lover could comprehend the depth of her passion. No Christian or Muslim could fathom her spirit. Only the landscape could give her comfort. Only the music could serenade her soul." Highly recommended 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Starting with an on-screen rape, the movie rolls downhill from there. While the movie accurately depicts what we generally know about how Muslim men treat women, the movie ends with a Muslim father who lies to his clan in order to save his daughter's life -- and a Catholic missionary is shown as the pinnacle of hypocrisy for not displaying charity by saving said young girl from the sons of Ishmael. Not finding any love from the gods of Islam or Catholocism, she turns to some bizarre primal ritual for her value. Stranger things happen -- can't think of what -- just know I haven't felt this oppressed since I watched Planet of the Apes.
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