Clay Dolls

06/17/2013

Tunisia / 2002 / Arabic & French

Directed by Nouri Bouzid

With Hend Sabri, Ahmed Hafiene, Oumeyma Ben Afsia

ClayDolls1 - CopyAmong the love songs recalled throughout Nouri Bouzid’s Clay Dolls – the sultry and vaguely ribald blues ballads that seem to course through the characters’ subconscious like nursery rhymes – there is a recurring one that lacks any eroticism whatever. It is about a windswept woman, made of wind, whose tears are paper, and thus leave no stain. The woman in the song could be any of the women we meet in the film, certainly Rebeh, taken from her village at a young age by the enterprising Omreh, a seasoned middleman from Tunis, and sold off as a housemaid. According to the plan, she will be married off to a man when the time is right, either by Omreh or her employers (whoever does it first). But she is too restless. She maneuvers around her economic captors and disappears into the belly of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

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48

06/03/2013

Portugal / 2009 / Portuguese

Directed by Susana de Sousa Dias

48-4“This is the face you have on the inside. It isn’t the face you have on the outside.” The words of this former political prisoner have, perhaps beyond her intent, a double meaning – or at least, a deeper meaning, an additional fold. In a euphemistic sense, “on the inside” refers to prison itself – the face in the photograph is inherently different than that which she wears in her daily life. This is an optimistic distinction; for many, daily life had become akin to being imprisoned, and at any time could give way to the reality of arrest. Read the rest of this entry »