Review: ‘Threads’

Moroccan born, Chicago-based filmmaker Hakim Belabbes returned to Bejjaad, the village where he was born, to make "Threads." Pic is about a dying exile going home with his daughter, who speaks no Arabic. Unfortunately, Belabbes clutters the film with several other stories, resulting in diminishing returns.

Moroccan born, Chicago-based filmmaker Hakim Belabbes returned to Bejjaad, the village where he was born, to make “Threads.” Pic is about a dying exile going home with his daughter, who speaks no Arabic. Unfortunately, Belabbes clutters the film with several other stories, resulting in diminishing returns. Though there should be interest among members of the Moroccan Diaspora, other exposure, apart from possible fest outings, will be limited.

The dying Mehdi (Azzedine Bouayad) brings his daughter, Hayat (Laura Marks), back to his village to meet his family, including his aged father and his sister. They also encounter Karim, a boy about to undergo circumcision; Jawad, the son of a potter, whose father thwarts his ambitions to attend art school; Malika, whose parents send her to the city to work; and an eccentric storyteller. Essentially, the film is composed of a series of short stories crammed together in one feature, and as a result the main story, involving Mehdi and Hayat, isn’t given the weight it deserves. Location shooting captures the feel of the village with considerable precision, but generally this is an opportunity wasted.

Threads

U.S.-Morocco

Production

A Hak Films production, in association with TV Morocco. (International sales: Hak Films, Chicago.) Produced by Don Smith, Omar Chraibi. Executive producer, Hakim Belabbes. Directed, written, edited by Hakim Belabbes.

Crew

Camera (color), Maida Sussman; music, Salah Morselli Cherqaoui; production designer, Federika Nilsson. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (New Territories), Sept. 3, 2003. Arabic dialogue. Running time: 92 MIN.
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