Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Fatima' Is Well-Observed but Too Bland

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Fatima' Is Well-Observed but Too Bland

Article excerpt

Philippe Faucon's "Fatima" centers on its eponymous title character, played by Soria Zeroual, an Algerian cleaning lady in contemporary France who is also a single mother attempting to raise her two daughters, the rebellious 15-year-old Souad (Kenza Noah Aiche) and the studious medical student Nesrine (Zita Hanrot).

Fatima, who speaks very little French, works 'round the clock in well-appointed homes in Lyon and in a factory. When she is injured in a fall at work, she files for disability insurance, meeting with stiff resistance. Her life is not an easy one. Souad ridicules her for not learning French; her ex-husband contributes virtually nothing to his family. Her only emotional outlet is the diary into which she scribbles her hopes and fears. (The entries are heard as voiceovers. …

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