Director: Raja Amari
Slightly autobiographical debut from belly-dancer turned filmmaker, Raja Amari, is one of the most surprising films you’ll ever see come out of Tunisia. Lilia, a widowed, middle-aged woman with a slightly rebellious daughter, finds herself seduced by a love of rhythm and dance after stumbling into a cabaret one evening in search of her daughter. She befriends a belly-dancer who is supportive and inspiring, recognizing Lilia’s longing for something in her life to become her own and it’s a joy to watch this woman discover her own self-worth, independence, sensuality and beauty. Excellent film—not at all filled with the “you go girl” American chick flick mentality we would probably have infused it with… and astute viewers will feel the influence of Douglas Sirk more than once as this Tunisian woman unleashes her inner Jane Wyman and finds herself a musical Rock Hudson… who also happens to be involved with her daughter (but don’t expect any melodrama!).