Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A thousand months

Morocco 2003

Details  bfi

Seen 9 July 2008

Muslims believe that when they pray during a particular night during the fasting month of Ramadan, the act is equivalent to prayers done for a thousand months. This is the night which becomes the turning point for Mehdi, our main character in this story.

He stays in a small town with his mother, Amina and grandfather, Ahmed. The adults tell Mehdi that they are living there while waiting for Mehdi's father to return from work in France. The real reason is the proximity of the prison where Mehdi's father is detained for suspected involvement in the civil strife occurring at that time.

Mehdi is a typical active and inquisitive young boy who is entrusted with taking care of the school teacher's chair. An honour, which sees Mehdi taking the chair almost everywhere he goes. This chair is the anchor which holds the story together.

The director touches on a lot of issues. We get snippets of the political drama unfolding in the country, the despair of the ordinary folk in their daily struggle to make a living, the different perception and interpretation on moral and religious matters as well as the status of women especially those who are brave enough to defy society's norms.

Snippets, camera shots, but we do not get solutions. This is after all, a story; the ending rests with us.

No comments: