Arabian Nights
Morocco, USA / 2003 / Arabic, French dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 92 minutes
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The weight of personal and familial dreams course through Hakim Belabbes's sumptuous Threads, a poetic, impressionistic journey made up of surreal tableaux, dense with history and memory. When Hayat, a young Chicago women, joins her dying father on a trip to his birthplace in Morocco, she's forced to try to make sense of a diverse group of characters based in the past and present, all of whom seem to be undergoing some rite of passage: a young boy is circumcised; a schoolboy superstitiously tries to save his sister's life with a combination of playground magic and Muslim prayer; a storyteller frightens children with memories he is unable to forget; and an artist defies his father's wish that he join the family business. These 'threads' reflect Hayat's feelings and internal struggles as her father makes peace with his culture and his own demise. Richly shot, Belabbes's debut feature is poetic filmmaking at it's best.


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