I recently saw this at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Shakira (Aziz Ahmeri) is a pre-op Moroccan transvestite who Zina (Ghizlane Waldi) has hired to make a traditional Arab wedding gown for her upcoming wedding. Zina however has a problem. She is no longer a Virgin and to avoid embarrassment on being true to Arab customs in her arranged wedding she needs a secret operation to restore her virginity. Shakira must drop his cross dressing appearance on a journey he takes with Zina to a doctor back in his hometown where she can have the operation. He also wants to have a role as a father to his young son who is being brought up not knowing who his father is. This is an extremely low budget film using no professional actors in the lead roles or any of the other on screen roles. The film has a bright washed out grainy effect that gets a little taxing on the eyes after an hour and a half and the particular print that I saw was in horrible shape with scratches and blotches that looked like it was decades old not a brand new film. Pablo Bendetti and David Sordella were basically a two man operation in the making of the film writing the storyline based on a supposed true event and writing the script as well as sharing the directorial duties, editing and cinematography. It's a good story but the best part of the film is it's original music from composer Enrico Sabena who blends modern jazz with traditional Arabic, Italian, Spanish and Jewish music. It's a great soundtrack with great songs performed for the film by a cast of excellent musicians. Sordella was at my screening for an audience Q&A. I would give this a 7.0 out of 10.
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