Director: Jacques Doillon
While the recent Steve Martin film Shopgirl dealt in subtle ways with the problems of intellectual, emotional and economic differences in a May-December romance, Doillon’s film pulls no punches in his study of a nineteen year old Moroccan girl named Raja who becomes the object of desire of her wealthy middle-aged French employer, while working in his gardens and kitchen in Marrakech. Very emotional and complex—a good one to watch with a friend (preferably someone of another gender to study reactions) as we witness both characters using one another in secret tugs-of-war of manipulation-- yet nothing is black and white. Somewhere in the midst of their power struggles and a relationship that is “fractured by their gross disparity of income, age, and cultural sophistication,” (filmmovement.com), true feelings of love come to the surface. There are no simple solutions and one realizes that unlike the Cinderella stories (like Maid in Manhattan) that remain so popular in this country, Doillon will finally come to a conclusion that is at once heartbreaking, confusing, yet logical and true to the situation.