7 November 2019 | cabassotti
Food and fabric
Nedjma doesn't know how to eat, as it is pointed out pretty early on the film. Her creative hunger makes her dirty, her mouth is always an image of excess: she attacks her mother's doughnuts, she disgustingly spits the school's milk, a drop of saliva hangs from her lip as she argue with her friend, and finally, after a very violent episode, she pushes red beets out of the ground and bites them, right there in the woods, revealing their brilliant reddish interiors. Later, this revealing scene is indirectly mocked by her boyfriend - one of the many internal rhymes on the film. Her mouth reveals: the mouth that eats, that speaks, that kisses. For 90's Algeria, the scandal this represents needs to be covered with dark fabric, and she responds with art made out of white fabric. Whole stories are told only with the sound of hands on cloth, no words needed. Food and fabric: it's a film aesthetically based on the material, and specifically on two types of material that are often linked with a certain idea of femininity. Instead of denying this aspect of womanhood, Ms. Meddour displaces them to a discours of rebellion and resistance.