Twenty-something Amine and Nour, who’s a little older, are strangers when they first meet, preparing for an attack. Nour is determined to carry out the attack and become a martyr. She is the one who is in control. But her inexperienced accomplice starts to have his doubts about the attack on a nearby oil refinery. As the two of them prepare for the attack, they each learn in their own way how to deal with the existential questions this throws up. During the night before the dangerous action, Nour plays her last trump card.

Merzak Allouache, who in his documentary Enquête au paradis (2017) interviewed Muslims about their views on paradise, seems to have elaborated on this theme in this lucid drama, shot in high-contrast black-and-white. The absence of background music makes escape all but impossible; the soft, intensely hypnotic sound of murmured prayer is interspersed with that of the eternal, eerie desert wind.

Original title
Rih rabani
Filmmaker
Merzak Allouache
Country
Algeria, France, Qatar, Lebanon
Year
2018
Medium
DCP
Length
95’
Language
Arabic
Producer
Bahia Allouache, Merzak Allouache
Production Company
Les Asphofilms, Baya Films
Sales
Les Asphofilms
Writer
Merzak Allouache
Cinematography
Mohamed Tayeb Laggoune
Editor
Merzak Allouache
Sound Design
Mohamed Amine Teggar, Gadou Naudin
Cast
Sarah Layssac, Mohamed Oughlis, Messaouda Boukhira, Hacene Benzerari, Abdelatif Benahmed, Brahim Derris