Cultural Bridge
Spain / 2008 / Spanish, Arabic, Berber dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 95 minutes
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'Return To Hansala' begins with several bodies washing up on the Spanish shore, near the coastal town of Algeciras. One of them is the young brother of Leila, a refugee living in the town. Leila had encouraged him to risk the boat crossing to Spain, against their family's wishes. After identifying her brother, Leila decides to repatriate his body and face the wrath of her parents. Teaming up with a Spanish undertaker Martin, the pair embark on the hazardous trip to Leila's mountain village of Hansala in the Moroccan countryside. Leila's most fundamental beliefs are challenged, as she must face her family, their grief, anger and love. Martin meanwhile, is surprised by his welcome in the village. Director Chus Gutiérrez presents with great sensitivity the opposing viewpoints of her main protagonists, artfully contrasting the lives of rich and poor, separated by only a few hundred miles.



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