directed by Agneiska Lukasiak
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover Director Agneiska Lukasiak got more than she bargained for when she went to shoot in Algeria and fell in love with one of its countrymen, Habib. Not only was she in a country racked by civil conflict, she also had to face up to her culture shock at the country's radically different approaches to love. Despite her amour fou for Habib, his familial obligations make it impossible for her to marry without destroying his family's means of support. As she ponders her unhappy love, she wanders around Algiers illegally taping war zones, her Algerian friends all the while fearing for her as well as for their own lives. This is a powerhouse documentary, made from the inside out and asking some hard questions about cross-cultural living. It's horrified at the misogyny and homophobia of mainstream Algerian life, appalled at the poor excuse for education her friends there receive, and disturbed by the intimidation that exists at every level of society. But through it all, Lukasiak maintains her love for Habib, wanting to bring him back to her native Sweden--until she is cruelly disappointed in the final reel. The film is brutal, searching, and hard to forget.