'Narrow Frame of Midnight', a tough Arab tale at Rome film festival

Hadid's film on intersecting lives on the margins in Mideast

20 October, 15:34

    (L-R) British actor Khalid Abdalla, British director Tala Hadid, actors French Hocine Choutri and  Moroccan Zahra Hindi, arrive for the premiere of 'The narrow frame of midnight' (Itar el-layl), at  the 9th annual Rome Film Festival, in Rome (L-R) British actor Khalid Abdalla, British director Tala Hadid, actors French Hocine Choutri and Moroccan Zahra Hindi, arrive for the premiere of 'The narrow frame of midnight' (Itar el-layl), at the 9th annual Rome Film Festival, in Rome

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, OCTOBER 20 - Characters living on the margins of society and moving between Morocco, Turkey and Iraq without a clear aim inhabit 'The Narrow Frame of Midnight' ('Itar El-Layla'), a film presented at the Rome Film Festival, produced by France, Morocco and the United Kingdom and directed by Tala Hadid. The director was born in London to a Moroccan-Iraqi family and initially trained as a painter. Her previous works include 'Sacred Poet', dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini.

    The film, made up of evocative images and very little dialogue, tells the story of Aicha, a girl sold to a French buyer who is to be taken out of Morocco by Sailor and Lula, a desperate couple looking to make money easily and hoping to get 100,000 euros for their efforts. They meet Zacaria, who leaves Morocco for Iraq in search of his brother, who may have ended up in a fundamentalist militant group. Zacaria saves - or may have managed to - Aicha by bringing her to a French friend in Morocco, before leaving for a war-torn Iraq (with a striking scene of a makeshift morgue containing corpses wrapped in pink sheets) and destruction to find the only family he has left. This search ends in a Baghdad square with an uncertain, visually haunting end. The film is composed of painting-like scenes and the plot is constantly interwoven with frames of buildings, small and large objects and nature, leaving an impression of a world between the Mediterranean and the Middle East riven by human and moral suffering and marked by violence, degradation and absolute uncertainty about the future. The director shows but does not explain, leaving viewers with a deep sense of unease. (ANSAmed).

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