Arab Film Festival: SOFIA (صوفيا)
October 13 only
A succinct script and superb acting prop Sofia as a sharp drama exploring the lengths people endure to survive. Set in Morocco where premarital sex is punishable by law, the film follows our young protagonist in the aftermath of her surprise pregnancy. With the help of her family, Sofia attempts to evade imprisonment and seek justice – all while battling a classist and misogynistic society.
Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloïsi skillfully employs the camera with a minimalistic style and subdued colors, each shot imbued with an aura of grief. Maha Elemi – and her somber gaze – is convincing in the lead role as a demoralized and confused young woman; yet, Benm’Barek-Aloïsi equips her protagonist with independence and wit. Despite her dire circumstances, viewers come to realize Sofia is more than just a victim.
As the film approaches a dénouement, a bombshell is revealed and character’s true intentions are uncovered, illuminating the complexity and nuances of human nature. Benm’Barek-Aloïsi debut feature will leave you unsettled – yet it’s also a testament to a mother’s love. —UMBER BHATTI
Director Meryem Benm’barek-Aloïsi. 2018, 80 mins. In Arabic and French, with English subtitles.
Arab Film Festival: SOFIA (صوفيا): Upcoming Showtimes