Review: Noura’s Dream (2019)

Noura’s Dream (2019)

Directed by: Hinde Boujemaa | 92 minutes | drama | Actors: Hind Sabri, Lotfi Abdelli, Hakim Boumsaoudi, Imen Cherif, Seifeddine Dhrif, Jamel Sassi, Belhassen Harbaoui, Lkbal Harbaoui, Dania Mostafa

This claustrophobic love drama takes a different tack. Noura’s husband Jamel (Abdelli) is in prison. She now has a new love, Lassad (Boumsaoudi). In the Netherlands this would be easy, but not in Tunisia. There, a woman must have more serious reasons for divorce. Not so nice; We know that life can be unforgivable.

OK, children are involved, but what doesn’t work won’t work, time will tell. However? Director Boujemaa sets out the facts dryly and situationally, and the story is presented with integrity. You will immediately believe a woman like Noura, played by the well-known Tunisian Sabri. But yes, we believe in love. Love for which you run, and meet in secret. Love that breaks your heart.

That rhymes. Then go to the movies. The action is quickly set in motion; those who have not read the synopsis will have to pay attention, but it can’t be difficult. Boujemaa does not sell tubers for lemons, with a simple dramatic structure, analogous to the sparse setting with peeling walls in atmospheric sepia.

That Jamel isn’t as bad as he seems, by the way. Much becomes more difficult when he is released, especially unconditional love, and the perspective broadens to the men and children. ‘Noura’s Dream’ is an authentic Maghreb product, with proud machos and an empowered woman – not a politically correct arthouse fairytale for a Western jury audience.

Ah, the globalist art world. We don’t come for that when we visit a country like Tunisia. The acting in ‘Noura’s Dream’ is a bit flat at times; at the same time, much is recognizable, like – we said it before, the unforgivability of life. It is almost as great as the unforgivability of love. Sometimes you just have to accept it and it will get better.

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