This film is from France, but is not the usual French film. The main character is an adolescent girl in a strict Muslim family from Algeria living in Marseilles. She finds it impossible to reconcile the libertine, modern society of France with the confining religion of her family, but when she acts out (as teenagers will) she finds herself confronted with an abusive and cocky older brother. However, the film is not judgemental of the lifestyle and religion of these immigrants, and shows that they face institutionalized racism within their host-culture as well as dealing with the problems of girls and puberty within Islam. In the end, although not a "happy" film, one feels that it is a celebration of the personhood of a girl becoming a woman in a difficult time and place. The only disappointment is a lack of images of beautiful Marseilles, but as Samia is never allowed to go out, one can expect to see mostly her crowded apartment and immigrant living conditions.
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