Montreal la blanche
Montreal, White City
It starts with Santa Claus, who on Christmas eve gets in a taxi driven by Amokrane, an Algerian who emigrated to Canada and is more involved with Ramadan than Christmas at that moment. This Santa also ensures that Amokrane later gets a compatriot in his taxi whom he recognises as the former pop star Kahina - an idol of his, but he had thought she was dead. That evening he decides to help her with her personal problems.
The story that Bachir Bensaddek tells us unfolds bit by bit. In a relaxed way, he gradually gives more information about the protagonists, so that the viewer slowly finds out more about their backgrounds and realises how much the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s still affects their lives.
In sharp, stinging dialogue, Bensaddek tackles personal and cultural issues, thus preventing this feel-good film from becoming syrupy or sentimental.