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Keltoum's Daughter Review

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Intent on finding the mother she believes abandoned her, Rallia disdains the conventions of the Maghreb village where, as a woman, she is a second-class citizen.

★★★★★

Intent on finding the mother she believes abandoned her, Cylia Malki cuts a sulkily self-possessed figure as she disdains the conventions of the Maghreb village where, as a woman, she is a second-class citizen. But director Mehdi Charef too often makes the obvious point, as Malki encounters a range of local characters who view her pretentions with either indifference or scorn. Still, his is a politically and emotionally satisfying finale that condemns the social chauvinism of North Africa with poignancy.

With so many recent African films focusing on economic migration and the exile's struggle to acclimatise to an alien culture, it's refreshing to see the trend reversed by having a Westernised model return to the land of her birth.