This is a story of old and young in Algeria told through a mother and daughter hiding out in a hotel from local terrorists. We follow pretty Goucem, 27, through the urban landscape of modern-day Algiers as she attempts to assert her own version of a liberated lifestyle.
Viva Laldjéri ardently follows three women in contemporary Algeria and their shared struggle against the oppression of religious fundamentalism expanding within their city. A bracing political film suffused with tender emotion, Nadir Moknèche’s film is a key feminist work of Algerian cinema.
It seems obvious that befriending the reckless Goucem is the best way to die young if you live in a country like Algeria. Misogyny, discrimination, an autocratic government, bureaucracy, and terrorism do not help, either.
I saw this when it played in LA, and promptly forgot the title, though I often thought of scenes from it. Meanwhile I've had a chance to learn more about Algiers via a biography of Francois Mitterand, and Kamil Daoud's book "The Meursault Investigation." It's inspiring to watch the mother break out of her paranoia and re-embrace her artistic talent, despite the insidious creep of religious fundamentalism.
One of my favorite films on Mubi thus far. I loved the soundtrack to this film, and I quite enjoyed how Goucem was portrayed as a woman that sleeps around, yet still has a kind and knowledgeable side to her. Stereotypes were broken in this film. The coloring was nice and subtle, and I love the image that is presented with the film. A beautiful shot of Goucem and her follower.