In the middle of a barren mountain desert a rickety red and yellow bus comes to a halt. Out steps a young woman with smooth, fine features, dark eyes and short hair. Her appearance alone makes her a curiosity: in rural Algeria most women still keep hidden beneath colourful scarves. An old hunchbacked local woman looks at her and wonders what on earth this "stranger" is doing here.Ralia, (Cylia Malki), has returned from Europe to the place of her birth in an attempt to discover why her mother abandoned her. Director Mehdi Charef reverses the trend of many recent African films which have focussed on economic migration and the exile's struggle to acclimatise to an alien culture, by having a Westernised girl return to her roots.With the help of her aunt (Baya Belal) she begins her quest to find her family, coming into conflict with the conventions of her native country where, as a woman, she is treated as a second-class citizen.
A Road Movie with a Difference.
- Keltoum's Daughter review by Cowboy Jane
(2) of (2) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
This is such a good film. It hooks you right from the start, lures you into a false sense of security and interest, and then turns it all upside down. A great story - when Ralia sets off on her quest, catching one of the many Algerian buses which criss cross the movie, you soon realise this isn't going to be your typcial road movie. Lost origins, disorientation, alienation, motherhood - all set against the stunning and troubled background of a still closed and troubled Algerian landscape.
What makes the film, tho', is the fantastic acting and characterisation. A cast of fabulously intriguing and rich characters - so well acted. This deserves a really wide audience.