The Dove's Lost Necklace
Nacer Khemir's Desert Trilogy
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- Locarno International Film Festival
Winner! Best Artistic Contribution and Best Screenplay
- Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film
While studying Arabic calligraphy with a grand master, Hassan comes across a fragment of rare manuscript. He sets off in search of the missing pieces, believing that once he finds them, they will reveal all the secrets of love. With the help of a lovers' go-between, Hassan meets the beautiful Aziz, Princess of Samarkand, who aids him in his search. The two encounter wars, a battle between false prophets, and face an ancient curse in their hunt for the missing manuscript. As the answers Hassan seeks become ever more elusive and complex, he begins to suspect that an entire lifetime would not suffice to learn the infinite dimensions of love.
Tunisian director Nacer Khemir, also a poet, painter and professional storyteller, notes: The film takes place in Moslem Andalusia of the 11th century. But it's not a question of reconstituting a given time and place, but rather of summoning up the reflection of a forgotten garden, and out of a yearning for peace, so difficult to protect from barbarians and from destructive fanaticisms. Andalusia has been the meeting place of many cultures, a living dialog of the peoples and religions whose traces can still be deciphered in texts, music and gardens all the way from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. This is not an Andalusian love story, but Andalusia as the very essence of love, through its perfumes, poetry and gardens.
A delightful fairytale; straight out of 1001 Nights. --FilmFest DC
This second feature in Nacer Khemir's Desert Trilogy is a visually ravishing folktale reminiscent of "The Thousand and One Nights. --Typecast Releasing
"Winner!!! Best Artistic Contribution and Best Screenplay" --Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film
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Top customer reviews
Excellent photography. It seems like an old film, and my first Tunisian at that. I am really impressed--a great work that deals with myth, magic realism, social awareness and human heart. Love played the central theme yet radiated in several directions: patriotism, brotherly love, love between a man and a woman, love of a whore, love of a son who never met his father, self-love and ultimately, love for God. Sensuous with minimal use of characters, surrounding and acting itself: watch when the girl touches the protagonist's injured hand and how she connects that touch with her lips; no contemporary mode of expression of hyped up erotica can come close in intensity and warmth to that scene. It shows a sophistication that has long lost in many parts of the Islamic culture. Symbols and allegories came and gone, but never actually overwhelmed me. To me, every segment was like a mini stanza, with a life and a meaning of its own. The desert landscape and the townships look so haunting--a throwback in time. There are few lines of the script I enjoyed and most notable one is this:
(1) "Every dream has its echo."
Director's use of the graveyard and death was very intelligent--reminder of closeness between love and death.
Wish I could have written a better review, but my skill is limited.
I highly encourage to watch this movie. At least you will get to enjoy some beautiful pieces of Arabic Calligraphy and hear few profound philosophical lines from few who, on screen, look as mythical as the landscape they habitat.