Monday, July 27, 2015

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (2015)

Alan Smithee was understandably curious to see the first Tuareg-language feature film ever made, a remake of Purple Rain starring guitarist Mdou Moctar. The story – already well-known to PurpleRainistas – is slight, but it takes on an intriguingly different character in its new setting. For example, the Tuareg are mild-mannered to the point that even arch enemies shake hands and greet each other on the street. Rivalry takes on a different tenor when the bastard who stole your song to play at the guitar competition greets you with peace be with you and asks how you are doing.

The music is wonderful, the acting – presumably entirely by amateurs – felt natural and believable. There's a lot to fascinate the eyes: the landscape, the clothes, the makeup. And it doesn't hurt that co-star Ghaicha Ibrahim is easy on the eyes. It's like a 75-minute vacation to a fascinating, more pleasant world.

Alan Smithee unfortunately saw this rewarding film with an audience of young urbanites. They seemed most entertained by the occasional unsophisticated technological aspect of the production, each of which they apparently found hilarious. One wonders if the young are able to enjoy anything unironically, and whether they even recognize that there is another way.

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