This film divided critics, some of whom found it slow and/or hard to follow. But I agreed with those that loved the rich tapestry of life in a small town in Morocco during Ramadan in 1981.
The film (which is gorgeously shot in a static, presentational style that recalls Kubrick at times) reminded me of films like 'Amarcord' and 'Nashville' films that capture through multiple story lines the tragedy and comedy of life at a particular moment in a particular place.
What's so interesting here is that the culture is a foreign one to most westerners like myself, so there were moments I was lost, but many more where I felt a world I knew nothing of was being opened up to me, and as cinema is so great at doing the common ground we all share was found.
It does get slow at times, no doubt, and I did have a hard time keeping track some of the complex familial relationships. But as a 'memory film' of growing up under a repressive regime in a society both modern and feudal it made me laugh, made me think. and touched my heart.
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