UNTIL THE BIRDS RETURN (En attendant les hirondelles)

10th-12th Screenshot

Film | Algeria | 2017 | Arabic, French

Nature is generous. It doesn’t care if we’re good people or not (Says the man who gives away pomegranates to the woman who first took without asking)

I have wanted to go to Algeria since I was fairly young. I am not really sure why really, but it is one of those countries that I knew and still know so little about that it captured my imagination somehow. So for that reason I was drawn to this film. It presents a series of stories that roll into each other. First up, the man torn between his two families. The ex wife who he effortlessly still confides in and his current belle with whom communication is rife. Dialogue moves between Arabic and French throughout. The next story, of love that was lost and found again. With nowhere to go. As we move out of the city and into hills and rock formations. The delectable scenary plays a key part. There is even a random musical interlude. A jolt away from the tragedy of hearts that is unfolding. The final story touches on the Algerian civil war. And leaves much to the audience to draw her conclusions. That sort of narrative where different characters collide to then carry the story in their own direction resembles films like Amores Perros or Crash a little. It feels a bit like as soon as there is an opening for connection to these characters though, the film plummets forward. So while it gives some gentle snap shots of this country and eludes to complexities of the war and a society at the crossroads of tradition, modernity and how the two may interact, it falls short of something more profound for me. I only hope there are more Algerian films that I cross paths with in the near future. Perhaps with a greater diversity of characters from all walks of life.


Author: roundlyintheeye

Pseudonym of Bree Alexander. A writer and editor born in Newcastle, grown in Melbourne, grown some more in Sydney and Granada (Spain) and Kuala Lumpur and India. I like to roam, learn, teach, play flute, dance, sing, read, watch films and dream. I am happy to share my writings with you. Tweeting @likaposamari

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