Slow and elliptical story about a would-be emigrant
A slow, excessively long, threadbare story about an Algerian who is planning to emigrate. Many long takes of people doing simple things: brewing coffee, walking on the streets of Algiers, washing floors, etc. There is an endless drive through an unpopulated new housing development with the camera in the back seat. Five minutes of that would have been more than enough to tell us that the driver is lost in an area where streets remain to be named. Most of this is pointless as far as plot development. It's a style of cinema that adopts the view that the mundane tasks of daily life are worth watching for extended periods of time.
The first sixty minutes is a slog. Then a spark happens in the form of a police official who injects some thoughts. While he is on the screen the movie is at its strongest, which isn't saying much. A couple of dramatic events close the film to the relief of those who did not leave the theater before.
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