2011-2020AlgeriaDocumentaryHassen Ferhani

Hassen Ferhani – 143 rue du désert AKA 143 Sahara Street (2019)

143 RUE DU DESERT is a portrait of Malika, an elderly woman who runs a rest-stop café on the side of National 1, Algeria’s main highway. Through the various patrons who stop for eggs, coffee or tea, we become intimately acquainted with this eccentric woman, whose opinions on a variety of subject matters entertain, enlighten, and baffle in equal measure. Most of the customers know her so well that we suspect they perhaps stop not for the tea, but for her company. The film almost never leaves the inside of her small café, which serves also as her home. However, with every new shot, Ferhani manages to reveal a new fragment of this minuscule space, which keeps the film surprisingly dynamic. Ferhani does not hold sway over Malika’s representation, which is one of the most satisfying elements of the film. Malika seems aware of her character’s cinematic construction, and even dares to contradict statements about her life from one moment to the next, in a scene that is as performative as any fiction. Even though the film provides us with real-time access to this woman’s world, she retains a sense of privacy, which is the main source of the film’s mystery. (Nico Pereda)

3.43GB | 1h 43m | 1920×1080 | mkv


Subtitles:English,Spanish here

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