During a student party, Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, meets the mysterious Youssef and leaves with him. A long night will begin, during which she'll have to fight for her rights and her ... See full summary »
Kaouther Ben Hania
Mariam Al Ferjani,
Fatima, a strong-minded woman, is the lead masseuse of a hammam in Algiers. This is 1995 and the situation is tense in the capital. The day ahead promises to be hectic for all, and for ... See full summary »
In an apartment building in Beirut, on the last day of the year, seven characters start their day by visiting their psychologist as part of the weekly ritual. On that couch in their ... See full summary »
Fadi Abi Samra,
Nada Abou Farhat
Trapped inside her house in a city under siege, a mother of three turns her flat into a safe harbour for her family and neighbours in an attempt to protect them from the war raging on the streets of Damascus, in the latest from Philippe Van Leeuw (The Life of Jesus).
Syrian War based drama that is both intense and visceral
Set somewhere in Syria in the ongoing Civil War we meet Oum Yazan (Hiam Abass -- 'Bladerunner 2049') who is holding out in her flat as the war rages. The block has been hit several times and she has barricaded herself in with her family and neighbours who she has taken in.
The every day tasks of life - like dusting and cooking - take on a new emphasis as she struggles to adapt to incessant change whilst trying to cling to some sense of normalcy. As the bombs get closer so does the horrors of war and cleaning the dust alone will no longer cut it.
Now this is an excellent film for various reasons. The tension is visceral and the acting is all flawless. However, it is the gripping nature of the story that pulls you in and the immediacy of what is happening - whilst the World does next to nothing to help the innocent victims.
It has a relatively short running time of 83 minutes and some will not be pleased at the ending - but how do you have an ending when the end is still (as I write) not yet in sight? Made in a Belgian, French and Lebanese co production and presented in Arabic with good sub titles. If you like your cinema to be challenging thought provoking and stray from the beaten path then this may very well suit you - recommended.
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