- 1h 52m
Four families live together in an isolated house in the mountains, where conflicts erupt between the generations.Four families live together in an isolated house in the mountains, where conflicts erupt between the generations.Four families live together in an isolated house in the mountains, where conflicts erupt between the generations.
Strange and ambitious
I saw this rather accidentally last night and couldn't turn the TV set off until it was over - a good sign. This film is highly stylized, shots are often composed with the precision of paintings, and the film is acted in an almost expressionist, deliberately apsychological manner; it is sometimes slightly reminiscent of Sergey Parajanov. This strange way of story-telling contrasts sharply with the realistic depiction of its set, a compound made of clay in the mountains. This mixture of stunning visuals and a very unique filmic language made up for a gripping experience, although I have to admit that I did not understand much of what was going on. Mohammad tells the story of two boys and their initiation into life: One is concerned with his love for an orphan girl living in the household, the other approaches maturity when he sacrifices a cow. But there is also a war (with Israel) going on in the background of the story; one of the boys gets possessed by his grandfather; misunderstandings, doubt and tensions dominate family life: It's not an image of cute rural harmony we meet here. To fully appreciate the film, one needs at least two viewings, some knowledge about Islam and politics in Syria and sensitivity to Muhammad's peculiar symbolism. One may object that the film is too dead-serious about its high ambitions, even a bit pretentious; so people who can't do without a laugh should stay away. For everybody curious about new and unique ways of story-telling, it is truly recommended.
- Jan 15, 2003
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