A Thousand Months (2003)

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Director: Faouzi Bensäidi
Cast: Fouad Labied, Nezha Rahile, Mohamed Majd


A woman in a remote village struggles to raise her son with her father-in-law, while they await the trial of the boy's father on political charges.

The Review

We do not get very close to the characters (close-ups and medium close-ups are used sparingly if at all) and this is not a film in which one is likely to feel caught up in the plight of its protagonists, save on a representative level, because very real people like them exist; moreover, the ending, which shows them leaving for the city, begs many questions. What is interesting here, though, is the wealth of sociological detail: the value placed on furniture (the boy carries a chair to and from school, for the teacher, who does not feel important enough without one); the kaïd who must collect wives wherever he goes (he is so corrupt he can afford them); the farmer who ferries water to a patch of land like Jean de Florette, even though it has been appropriated by the government; the wife contemplating union with another man who visits furtively by night, because she has to support herself and her child somehow. A film, in short, which repays close attention but will not overwhelm.