Movie: Androman de Sange et de Charbon
Country of Origin: Morocco
Androman – De sang et de charbon Movie Review:
I watched Androman in India during Pune International Film Festival in 2013. The show was houseful and everyone loved this movie in the end. From personal point of view I liked the movie and the concept very much. The director of this movie Mr. Az Larabe Alaoui must get the credit for giving us such a masterpiece from Morocco. This film tells the story of a girl whose father (a charcoal trader) deliberately turns her into a boy so that he don’t loses his land and property. Because in the society where he lives the “right to inheritance of land” is reserved for boys only while girls are treated as a burden on the family. Ouchen (father) names his girl as (Androman) and takes her to work every day and nobody gets the slightest of idea that the boy “Androman” is actually a girl. But, this secret is revealed once, when Androman fells from the tree and the nearby shepherd gets to know her gender. After that, a failed romance blossoms between the two. During this period Androman tries to “understand as well as discover” her femininity which she has long forgotten while living as a boy. As her father gets to know about their affair he kills the shepherd and beats her daughter too. During this you can easily understand the mental condition of the father as well as daughter who are nothing but, a victim of their social and cultural environment. The film really portrays the issues of today’s Muslim societies in Arab world in particular. The film also tells that it is not “Islam” that has deprived women of their “rights” rather Muslims themselves in the name of “customs and traditions” exploit women rights and blame it on Islam. This can be understood with the character of the Islamic Cleric who tells the villagers that under “Islamic Law” women too have their right of inheritance of land from their father. But, the villagers reject his suggestions as they do not wanted to go away from the customs of their “ancestors”. This clearly shows the backwardness and hypocrisy of the villagers who despite giving so much respect to the “Cleric” and considering themselves Muslims and followers of Islam do not actually want to carry out what Allah tells them.
From technical point of view this movie is a treat to watch. Camera work is awesome and music and background score of Androman de Sange et de Charbon really touches your heart and is very situational. The filming locations are perfect and gives an obvious sense of the “hardships” people face who live there. As far as acting is concerned all the actors have done a commendable job specially Jalila Tlemsi (Androman) the lead character of the movie. The film also tells another side of the people living in that area (Atlas Mountains). And that is, if, government can look properly to these people and provide them better governance and basic facilities then many of the social evils will wither away as poverty and hunger are the seeds that grow up into strong trees laden with fruits of “social and cultural evils”. The end of the movie is very thought-provoking and meaningful as Androman takes part in a horse race alongside boys (an unprecedented event in the village’s history) as decided and agreed by the village elders. Androman wins the race and this is a symbolic cinematic representation on the screen of how women can win and get their rights (as guaranteed to them by God in the Holy Book Quran). But, to achieve this they have to strive for it, as Androman did in the movie unlike to other women characters of the movie who accepted “ill treatments and discrimination” as part of their life.
My Favorite Characters of Androman Movie:
Jalila Tlemsi (Androman): She is just exceptional in this role. As Androman her body language and dialogue delivery is completely in sync with the requirements of the character. Especially, the moment she realizes the women inside of her Jalila’s acting is a treat to watch. Jalila Tlemsi’s eyes have spoken so much that one can easily understand the pain and emptiness in her soul. In my view she has done full justice to her role. Without her Androman would have been “empty”..
My Rating of this Movie:
I have rated Androman 10 out of 10 as there is nothing which you can say is lagging or missing in this movie. It has a compelling subject, an experienced cast and a wonderful plot. The ending is very meaningful as well as “full of optimism”. The music and background score of Androman too is very good and helps in conveying the story to the viewers.
My Verdict of the Movie:
If you love some intense drama then Androman movie is a must watch for you. This is one of the best Arab movies that I have seen till now. You will never regret watching it and this movie will leave a long-lasting impression on your mind. This movie will also help in understanding the Moroccan village life and their social and political issues.