A Few Days of Respite

A Few Days of Respite

Algeria, 2010, 80 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Discrimination, Drama, Gay, Homophobia, Immigration / Exile, Middle Eastern, Muslim / Islam, Politics
Program: World Cinema
Language: in French with English subtitles

DIRECTOR: Amor Hakkar

“I love you Hassan, but I would have left without you,” says Mohsen to his young lover, Hassan, as they cross the border into France. Facing imprisonment or death, the couple is emigrating illegally from Iran. Will finding freedom together force them further apart?

Endeavoring to reach Paris, the two first board a train for a small village in the south of France. Traveling separately to avoid suspicion, Mohsen is befriended by an older woman named Yolande who offers him some work painting her flat. In need of this extra money, the couple holes up for a few days before making their way to the capital. Although the opportunity to relax for a bit in a bucolic town seems ideal, they stick out as foreigners, and the fear of being deported grows. Adding to this emotional turmoil is Hassan’s palpable jealousy over the obvious affection Yolande has for Mohsen. Much of the film’s emotional content remains sublimated, a knowing reflection of the caution that the couple was forced to take in their homeland. When a series of circumstances force Hassan into hiding in Yolande’s attic, an impending tragedy is set in motion.

Inspired by an article in the French press, the Algerian-born writer/director Amor Hakkar (who also plays Mohsen) has crafted an elegant, restrained film about a subtle yet profound expression of love when it develops amid a repressive regime. — ROD ARMSTRONG

Text Voting Code: F112

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