Ahmed meets Farah at the Sorbonne, where they both enroll in a course on Arabic literature. He’s French-born of Algerian descent; intelligent, socially awkward, an outsider in the city of his birth. She’s from Tunisia, well-to-do, cosmopolitan. She asks him to show her Paris. He quietly Googles the tourist sites. They’re equally taken by the 12th century poetry they’re reading, which is passionate, hedonistic, and erotic, but Ahmed finds it troubling to reconcile this culture with the repressive Islamic norms he has imbibed from the banlieue. As for love, he’s completely out of his depth.
Writer-director Leyla Bouzid (As I Open My Eyes) has made a sympathetic film about a young man’s sincere confusion, and the confident young woman who lights his path. While this is—obviously—a love story, somehow both chaste and sensuous, it’s also, distinctively, very much a film about language and words, the poetry of longing and fulfillment we each must learn by heart.
399MB | 1h 38m | 480×220 | mkv