After escaping Iran, where their relationship means a death sentence, Hassan and Mohsen make it all the way to France. While stopped over in a small town to await their train to Paris, Mohsen befriends the lonely, but warm, Yolande, who offers him employment, kindness, and the possibility of a peaceful life.
Amor Hakkar directs and stars as the aging man torn between a security he has never known and his passionate connection to his younger lover. A minimalist film that nevertheless feels visually and emotionally full, without forced sentimentality or manufactured drama, A Few Days of Respite questions the nature of love and happiness and the sacrifices we may make to achieve either. In this film directed and written with precision and economy, Hakkar allows us to know these characters in a single line of dialogue, and feel their conflict within the power of a glance. –Sundance Film Festival
Born in 1958, in the Aurès. When he was six months old, the family left its home village to move to Besançon in France. After studying sciences, he discovered a passion for film and writing. He made a short film Apprends-moi à compter jusqu’à l’infini (1990) followed by a feature Sale temps pour un voyou (1992). In 2002, after a painful return to Algeria for his father’s funeral, he discovered the Aurès, where he directed a documentary for France 5 TV: Timgad, la vie au coeur des Aurès (2002). Inspired by this journey, he wrote the script for The Yellow house (La Maison jaune) which was shot in the Berber language in the Aurès region. His third feature, A few days of respite (Quelques jours de répit) (2010) was entirely shot in Franche Comté and this time in French (selected at Sundance FilmFest 2011, and release in France on 27 April 2011). He is also a literary writer: in 2001 his book La cité des fausses notes won the Marcel Aymé Prize. —Africulture