Directed by Philippe Faucon
Fatima, a Moroccan-born woman who now lives in France with her two teenage daughters, with whom she is barely able to communicate.
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★★★½ review by Steven Sheehan on Letterboxd
Running for a very tidy 80 minutes, Fatima has a lot on its mind and manages to get this across very astutely despite the relatively short run time. Although it would probably benefit from adding another half hour to expand on some of the social aspects that create so much pressure for Fatima and her daughters. None of the situations are exploited for dramatic purposes, but there is just enough going on to ensure we get an understanding of the perspectives of the three generations of women in Fatima's single-parent household.
Of course it's a timely film given all the ignorance that continues to be thrown toward non-native Muslims in France. Expectation and hope is placed on the shoulders of the medical-studying eldest child, while the youngest struggles to accept why her mum cleans and can't adapt to the French language. Wearing the hijab means racism and ignorance is routinely thrown in Fatima's path, while malicious gossip and jealousy spreads around her local community adding to the stress. The story of Fatima and her daughters is told with calm, grounded in a reality we should all be able to recognise.
★★★★ review by Eslamov on Letterboxd
كسم الجمال ❤️
★★★★ review by Luke Pauli on Letterboxd
A emotionally genuine film about the sacrifices parents make for their children, as well as being a cultural fish out of water. The titular character lives an isolated existence, in a country where she doesn’t speak the language fluently, taking menial cleaning jobs to make ends meet and put her daughter through medical school, all the while she is drifting away from the roots of her culture. It’s a well considered film, slight in running time but long in emotional resonance. Really well acted, doesn’t rely on overacting or histrionics to make its point. Very relatable film for anyone with children, or anyone who has felt marginalised or under-represented culturally. Quietly impressive.
★★★½ review by Steven Cohen on Letterboxd
A film about the struggle for success and the responsibility one feels to achieve it, Fatima looks at two generations - a mother (Soria Zeroual's Fatima) and a daughter (Zita Hanrot's Nesrine) - as they work hard to make things better for one another. "My girls get everything," says Fatima in response to questions about her lack of a personal life. Fatima has sacrificed her personal contentment - and possibly her chance at artistic fulfillment - for her daughters. Similarly, Nesrine has forgone the adventure and excitement of young adulthood to live up to the expectations society has put on her (not to mention the expectations she has put on herself). It's only when both women start living a little for themselves that begin to experience real happiness. Fatima is simple and sweet, but sometimes that hits the spot.
★★★½ review by saarfranke on Letterboxd
Arte Kinofestival #2
Fatima tells the story of an arab woman in France in a very authentic, slow and interesting way. Also, I didn't see it coming that this film would end so surprisingly open...
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