|A film by Mehdi Charef,
Filmed in Algeria
Rallia, a young woman
raised in Switzerland, returns to her birthplace in the mountainous region
of Algeria, hoping to find her biological mother, Keltoum. Her short hair
and westernized demeanor mark her as a stranger from the moment she steps
off the bus. Rallia finds her way to her ancestral home and her grandfather,
who tells her that her mother works far away in a luxury resort but returns
on weekends. Waiting in vain each week for her mother's visit, Ralli immerses
herself in village life, adopting traditional dress, helping her half-mad
aunt with family chores, and struggling with her dual cultural heritage
in a strictly patriarchal society. Eventually, Rallia and her aunt embark
on a journey to the city to find Keltoum. With stunning desert landscapes
and a rich musical soundtrack, this road movie is inflected both with the
rhythms of North African life and the emotions of western melodrama. "Cylia
Malki gives an uncanny performance in the moving central role." —Piers
Handling, Toronto Film Festival.
2005 African Studies
Association Film Festival.
2001 Toronto Film Festival.
Kodak Award, 2002 Mons
Festival of Love Films. ** SIGNIS Jury Award, 2003 Milan African Film Festival.
RUNNING TIME: 106
& Arabic with English Sub-Titles