"Noura Dream": in Tunis, high morals


In Noura dreams, Tunisian drama in which the intimate matter serves as a showcase for societal criticism, two structuring scenes confront the heroine with the agents of an incessant moral control. In the first, a lawyer, who accompanies Noura in her divorce proceedings, invites her to think more about the well-being of her children, instilling the poison of guilt in her mother's heart. In the second, a squadron of well-greased police officers transforms a robbery deposition into an inquisition of morals that does not say its name.

Subtle in its dosages despite obvious demonstrative inflections (the filmmaker Hinde Boujemaa aims to denounce the injustice of the law on adultery in Tunisia, an offense punishable by five years in prison), Noura dream finds clever ways to signify the symbolic assaults led by men in the intimacy of his luminous heroine (Hend Sabri, star in the Arab world). We would obviously like to see the triumph of this woman in love, a modest laundry employee whom the film discovers in a radiant light, in the shadow of her secret passion with a garage owner. The absence of her husband's recidivist crook, imprisoned for yet another thievery, serves as a temporary safe-conduct for the two lovers pending the completion of the divorce proceedings at his back. But it was to neglect the shadow cast on their projects by the title of the film, where announces the disappointment on the mocking air of "you dream, my great". The husband is released earlier: the dream is torn. Immediately, Hinde Boujemaa surrounds her characters in games of overages where incarnates spatially the imprisonment of Noura, brought back in the bosom of the legal spouse while this one tries to force the mystery of its sudden coldness.

Noura dream is thus in the vein of this Tunisian cinema where are documented changes in a post-spring Arab society that is slow to defeat women of an oppressive order. Seized in scenery and lights treated, the Tunis popular sees it adorned with velvet clothes where a certain prettiness makes its bed (and this inner courtyard set with ceramics murals where Noura gasps), even to detonate sometimes with the social violence presented. If the abject and unthinkable nature of the husband's vengeance on his rival constitutes the dramatic acme of the story, the film seems to assume only half this excess and to escape a little quickly to what could have constituted his knot of most fruitful ambiguity.

Sandra Onana

Noura dream of Hinde Boujemaa with Hend Sabri, Lofti Abdelli … 1:30.

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