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Ferhani’s sophomore feature trains its gaze upon Malika, an Algerian café proprietor whose remote establishment is nested within the endless sands of the Sahara. The café has just one table and its menu is restricted to tea and omelettes; but still the guests roll in, one by one, spending time with Malika and discussing politics, religion, and economics before disappearing once more over the dunes. But a petrol station being built nearby signals that Malika’s simple way of life could change greatly in the not-so-distant future… Ferhani’s film-portrait thrives on duration and tempo, patiently working through Malika’s memories and conversations to arrive at an immersive study of a woman and the veritable oasis where she passes her days.
See more at Art of the Real, presented virtually nationwide from Nov. 13-26. Explore the lineup and get tickets here.