A Tale of Love and Desire (Une histoire dâ€™amour et de dÃ©sir), dir. Leyla Bouzid, France 2021, 103 min., French with English subtitles
The hot flush of first love sizzles through Leyla Bouzid’s assured and seductive sophomore feature. While the spark between fellow literature students Ahmed and Farah is instant, their courtship is thorny. Farah exudes curiosity, embracing the freedom and opportunity of studying in a new city. But for Paris-born Ahmed, the prestigious Sorbonne is a disorientingly foreign world to the banlieue he grew up in. He is further hardened by the dissonance of discovering erotic Arab literature in these surroundings.
Between the lines of literary classics, their worlds slowly begin to merge. Bouzid deftly plays with the clichés of courtship and identity politics in this tale of young love, celebrating passion, poetry and desire.
Sun, 17 Oct 2021
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