French Girl

Little Sofia, born and raised in suburban France, has to be forced into the van that takes her back to her native Morocco. Ten years later, she is a frustrated rebel at a Moroccan college, working in her parents’ olive orchard on weekends. Determined to return to France, she compulsively studies to qualify for a French university. She’s constantly criticized for dressing “French,” doing farmwork like a man, and wanting more than to be a proper Moroccan wife. Complicating the usual immigrant tale of the second generation returning to appreciate her roots, French Girl explores the heroine’s desperate love for her overseas home. Morocco is not just an evil place that forbids Sofia from doing what she wants — it’s also a part of her, as the film’s beautiful landscape compositions prove. When the noose of traditional marriage and exile in Morocco begins to tighten, Sofia’s resolve intensifies and she takes desperate action. Souad El-Bouhati’s moving debut feature stars the dynamic Hafsia Herzi, who won awards for her performance in Abdellatif Kechiche’s The Secret of the Grain.
Sun., May 3, 5:45 p.m., 2009

 
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