The Source DVD
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Directed by Radu Mihaileanu
Produced in 2011
Main Language - Arabic with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - European Film
Steering a careful course between comedy and gravity, Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert) has produced a great ensemble film that is more Lysistrata than Made in Dagenham, writes Nick Riddle.
In a remote North African village, the womenfolk fetch the community’s water from a distant well, as they have done for generations. The men, with no more wars to fight, drink tea and shoot the breeze. When her friend miscarries after falling by the well, the feisty Leila - an outsider who has married into the village - organises a ‘love strike’ to force their husbands into action.
The tone is more Lysistrata than Made in Dagenham, thanks to the old-world setting and the use of chanting as a kind of Greek chorus at key moments (a brilliantly effective touch). The women’s ribald humour and esprit de corps make this a great ensemble film, and if the men are less well drawn as characters, that’s an indication of where the story’s focus really lies.
French-Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert) steers a careful course between comedy and gravity, and takes some risks in tackling the subject of Islamic attitudes to women, especially where sex and literacy are concerned. Without resorting to either polemics or bland hymns to sisterhood, The Source has a keen eye and a warm heart.
Nick Riddle on 27th June 2012
Author of 62 reviews
Romanian-born filmmaker Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert, Live and Become) directed and co-wrote this 'battle of the sexes' comedy drama set in a remote North African village, where the women do all the work. Then the newly-married Leila starts a mutiny among the women when she proposes that the women withhold sexual favours until something is done to improve the situation. She is met with scorn and disbelief, not only from the men in the village but from her ill-disposed mother-in-law, Fatima (Hiam Abbass), who repeatedly encourages her son to discipline his feisty young bride.
Publisher: Revolver Entertainment
Length: 124 mins
Cat No: REVD2984
Format: DVD Colour