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After the death of her husband, Lilia's life revolves solely around her teenage daughter, Salma. Whilst looking for Salma late one night, Lilia stumbles upon a belly dance cabaret and though initially reserved and taken aback by the culture of the place, Lilia gets consistently drawn back to it. She befriends one of the belly dancers and is encouraged into dancing for the audience. Lilia also starts a romance with one of the cabaret's musicians, who unbeknown to both of them, is also romancing Salma. Written by
Belly dancing can be dangerous if you wear Polyester..
All I heard about this film was that it was from Tunisia. Nothing prepared me for a delightful trip into the cabarets and clubs where this ancient art is practiced.
Director Raja Amari has created the right atmosphere for this little film that is far better than some multi-million dollar duds. Probably the whole budget of this film would have only bought a couple of props in a Hollywood blockbuster.
The story is very sweet. Lilia, played with great charm by Hiyam Abbas, strikes the right note and makes the film work. The relationship between Lilia and Salma, the daughter, is strained. Lilia is not only beautiful, but she's full of life. She discovers the world of dancing with the help of a charming array of down to earth dancers who take her into their realm. They show her how to open up and regain a life that has been cut short by the death of her husband.
Lilia transforms herself into our eyes and all we can think is to shout at her to do her thing, enjoy life to the fullest.
A very satisfying time at the movies.
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