6.5/10
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2 user 7 critic

L'enfant endormi (2004)

In the northeast of contemporary Morocco, Zeinab, a young wife watches her husband leave the country to go underground the day after their wedding. Zeinab is expecting a child. While she is... See full summary »

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10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mounia Osfour ...
Zeinab
Rachida Brakni ...
Halima
Nermine Elhaggar ...
Siham
Fatna Abdessamie ...
La grand-mère
Khamsa Abdessamie ...
La mère
Issa Abdessamie ...
Amziane
Mimoun Abdessamie ...
Ahmed
Driss Abdessamie ...
Hassan
Rabie Kassari ...
L'instituteur
Driss Belkasmi ...
Le guérisseur
Mohamed Abdessamie ...
Le petit garçon
Mohamed Mokhtari ...
Le chauffeur du camion rouge
Hadda Abdessamie ...
La femme à la caméra
Siham Darghal ...
Jemäa
Halima Driss ...
La mère d'Halima
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Storyline

In the northeast of contemporary Morocco, Zeinab, a young wife watches her husband leave the country to go underground the day after their wedding. Zeinab is expecting a child. While she is waiting for her husband to return she lulls the foetus to sleep. Time goes by and the husband does not come back. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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Release Date:

2 March 2005 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

El niño dormido  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A mixed-up debut effort
13 December 2005 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

Director Yasmine Kassari (who won the 2005 Best Director Award at Mar Del Plata Film Festival for the film) has made a film that is commendable for a debut effort from an Arab lady. The film is important because female issues in the Arab world often take a back seat and here is a film on Arab women made by a woman. No wonder it won a grand prize at the Tangiers film festival. Probably the Belgian production quality of the Moroccan co-production aided its success at several lesser-known film festivals as well.

I caught up with the film at the on-going Dubai Film Festival and found the film honest and realistic only in patches. It presents the colorless and empty lives of semi-illiterate women who are left behind in villages by husbands who seek greener economic pastures in Europe (while cursing them in a song!). The women long for male companionship when there are few options for them even in time of sickness. Oppression by a male-dominated society and use of traditional unscientific medicines contrasted with modern birth-control pills are realistically portrayed.

While Director Kassari even elicits commendable performances from her main actors she includes an unrealistic sequence where a school teacher asks small kids about "democracy," which one student innocently thinks has something to do with "bread." However, more incongruous in the film was a television set (if operated by batteries, the film does not indicate such easy access by villagers to consumables such as batteries)showing video films in a village that obviously did not have electricity and resorted to oil lamps in the evening and the semi-illiterate women using a film camera with a felicity that would shock urban dwellers in Morocco or elsewhere. Equally out of place was a totally unwarranted, gratuitous frontal nude sequence shot when a suggestive side-angle could have made the point even better.

Director Kassari had good intentions but as the film progresses the realism gets diluted to a young cineaste's pipe dream where villagers can use film cameras (run by batteries again?) with the same felicity as milking goats! The film is at best notable merely as a commendable film on women from the Arab world—-little else. There have been better films from Morocco in recent times--see Mohammad Asli's outstanding debut feature film on urban migration, for instance.


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