Cheba Louisa: Birth of an unlikely friendship on a council estate
by Alix Nokermann
- National identity and Algerian music are on the menu of this comedy, light-hearted but nonetheless committed
It is with humour that Cheba Louisa [+see also:
film profile] by French director Françoise Charpiat addresses contemporary clichés of council estates. National identity and Algerian music are on the menu of this comedy, light-hearted but nonetheless committed.
The storyline follows the emerging friendship between two young women which everything should set apart : Emma (Isabelle Carré), a mother who is broke and off her head, raising her two children on her own, and her neighbour who lives on the same floor, Djemila (Rachida Brakni), an ambitious jurist trying as best she can to reconcile her integration and personal advancement with Algerian traditions and values.
Known as one of the screenwriters and director of the French series Plus Belle La Vie, Françoise Charpiat stepped behind the camera this year to have us discover her version of a typical French council estate. She has opted for a humorous tone to break down prejudices and address current topics which, while often clichés, are nevertheless contemporary realities.
In the end, Cheba Louisa is a bright, light-hearted comedy, not lacking in depth. Although something of a caricature, this comedy with a humanist foundation sees itself as a vector to fight the prejudices that pervade the community. It handles the notion of national identity against a background of traditional Algerian music, which serves as the thread throughout the entire film.
Presented in the Panorama section of the 13th Brussels Mediterranean Film Festival Cinemamed, Cheba Louisa won over the audience thanks to its endearing tale and drew the enthusiasm of viewers who went from laughter to outrage and commendation.
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