Quite a different type of film from “Badis,” director Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi’s previous fest success, “Husband” could be compared to a Moroccan sitcom set in a middle-class, modern-day harem. Fat but lovable gold merchant Hadj (comic Bachir Skirej, a thesp who worked many years in the U.S.) has three wives , each of a different generation. The women, who are good friends, have divided up their “duties” for Hadj. Everything goes wonderfully well, until Hadj repudiates his beautiful youngest wife, Houda (Mouna Fettou), in a fit of jealous rage.
She calmly moves back in with her parents, cuts her hair and updates her wardrobe. Hadj, on the other hand, is racked by suffering and discovers he can’t live without her. Islamic law allows him to remarry Houda only if she first marries another man who then repudiates her.
Aicha Regragui’s script brings out the feeling of community among the women, children and servants in the harem, emphasizing the wives’ surprising camaraderie and independence of mind. In a sense, it replays “Badis’ ” theme of women’s victimized position in society in a grotesque but affectionate comic key. Crisply lensed within the walls of a magnificent tiled house, pic is a pleasure to watch.