COUSCOUS (la graine et le mulet) by Anton Bitel

Abdel Kechiche's third feature is an ensemble film about food, family, failure and friction within France's community of North African émigrés

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Abdel Kechiche un film ensembal sur fud, famil, failur y frikzon in categoru d'emigranti d'Nord Afriku d'Franzu

Take the grain away from fish couscous and you are left with nothing to absorb the acidity of the mullet or the spiciness of the sauce. A similar principle is at work in Abdellatif Kechiche's film.

All the ingredients seem to be in place for a predictable ensemble recipe where everything will come together harmoniously in the end - only for the director to leave us impatient and slavering, like the protagonist's drunken dinner guests in the final scenes, for a perfect dish that may never arrive. In other words, he make us hungry for wishful fantasy, while slyly serving up something with all the frustrations, disappointments and unsavouriness of real life, so that we simultaneously are invited to dream up a happy conclusion while witnessing a tragic catastrophe that tastes very bitter indeed.

In a memorable image from Couscous, we see the 61-year-old Slimane (Boufares) running in circles, getting nowhere except out of breath, as he pursues a trio of taunting youths who have just stolen his moped at a moment when his future employment depends on more => HERE!
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