S, a young Tunisian soldier, is told that his mother has died, and given a week’s leave. But when the week’s up he doesn’t return to his base in the desert, instead locking himself away in his parents’ house. This passive form of desertion culminates in a manhunt through the outskirts of the city. In the second part of this hypnotic diptych, a young woman, F, is also fleeing an oppressive situation. She is married to a rich man and is pining away in solitude in his luxury villa. When she finds that she’s pregnant, she flees the golden cage and disappears into the nearby woods, where she comes across a now very wild S.
In his second feature, director Ala Eddine Slim presents an intriguing juxtaposition of raw realism with a hypnotic allegory of contemporary Tunisia, held together by an intense, grating soundtrack.