Faouzi Bensaïdi – Mille mois aka A thousand months (2003)

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Review :
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A Thousand Months, the first full-length feature from Moroccan writer-director Faouzi Bensaïdi, sets out as if to offer us a winsome child’s-eye view of life in an Atlas mountains village in the early 1980s, as seven-year-old Mehdi (Fouad Labied) wonderingly observes the new moon that marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan. But the film soon develops into something more complex – more like a vivid North African reworking of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts. Of the various interlocking characters and events that make up the plot, several impinge only marginally on Mehdi. This tactic is a deliberate attempt to subvert our expectations. “I like to lure the audience along a path that seems to be marked out and reassuring,” Bensaïdi says, “only to make them lose it instantly. The centre keeps shifting and what seems to be the margin becomes the magnet that attracts all the rest to it, only to disappear and be replaced by other peripheral elements.” Continue reading