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In a remote and primitive patriarchal village between the North of Africa and the Middle East, the land has dried and the women traditionally bring water from a distant fountain to their houses while the idle husbands drink tea in the bar. The educated Leïla, who is the wife of the local teacher Sami, begins a sex strike movement among the women, supported by the elder Vieux Fusil (meaning old flintlock), to force the men to bring water to the village. They must face the strong reaction of the brutal men. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
# 07 : The straw that broke the camel's back (web)
With this last movie with Leila, i find the missing piece in the recollection of my friendship with « my » Leila. It's about her roots, in other words, the life in North Africa. I went there with all the family once and if their way of living was peaceful and pleasant. In this movie, I didn't recognize: we are stuck in a jerkwater village, lost in the arid mountains. Everything is hideous : the houses with no water, no electricity, the rags, the songs... The people are blind with tradition, the relationships are awful : women and men are segregated, abusive intimacy, lack of education and all this in the name of faith and culture. Sure, it's the ideal ground for an explosive drama. But the story isn't up to the task, the characters aren't interesting, the rhythm is terribly sluggish, so the watching is painful. If it's also as Manichean than « Synghe Sabour », the latter is much better and less suffocating.
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