TIFF 2016: Mimosas Review

Wavelengths

Oliver Laxe’s Mimosas is a beautiful enigma, especially for this Western-raised film critic.

The film focuses on a caravan led by a Sheik who wants to cross the Moroccan Atlas with the intent to die and be buried on his land. His guides are Ahmed (Ahmed Hammoud) and Said (Said Aagli) who don’t necessarily know where they are going but are determined to get there all the same. They’re joined some time later by Shakib Ben Omar (played by, surprise, Shakib Ben Omar), who is said to be blessed, and who is given a mission: to protect that caravan, the Sheik and Ahmed. The film is divided into three chapters, which relate to various positions taken during Islamic prayer.

This film – especially for those of us locked in the world of Ben-Hur (the first one, not the remake) and The Ten Commandments – is akin to a biblical sword-and-sandals epic. There’s a quest, and there are interesting and fallible characters (Shakib is certainly memorable as he makes a few leadership errors that have grave consequences). God/Allah is praised often, and He is also appreciated for creating the numerous obstacles in their path.

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The Moroccan landscapes are sure to impress, particularly on the big screen. The film lags in the middle and has an obscure ending that may confuse some viewers without knowledge of Moroccan/Arabic culture. However, it’s clear from the ending that when one journey ends, another quickly takes its place.

Screening:

Saturday September 10, 5:15 @ Jackman Hall

Monday September 12, 9:00am @ Jackman Hall

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Saturday September 17, 6:45pm @ Jackman Hall

Michael McNeely is a deaf-blind film critic and advocate for greater accessibility in our cinemas. Read more about his story here.

 

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