JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Brotherhood | Nefta Football Club | The Neighbors’ Window (Directors: Meryam Joobeur, Yves Piat, Marshall Curry) - February 17, 2020

Brotherhood | Nefta Football Club | The Neighbors’ Window

4.5 4.5

The Neighbors' Window: 92nd Academy Award Winner for Best Live Action Short
A trio of shorts that are all long on quality

Tunisia, 25 minutes, 2019
Meryam Joobeur
Four and one half stars

An unexpected consequence

The war in Syria, of course, is not just confined to Syrian nationals and a few “friendly” countries on both sides of the divide (er, hello there Russia and the United States and…).

In Joobeur’s take, the eldest son of three marvellously freckled boys, returns from Syria a year later, and with a veiled, very young, pregnant wife on his arm.

Tunisian Mohammed, the stubborn dad, will have none of it, demanding his apparent daughter-in-law, Neem, to “remove the thing on your face.”

Even as she finally does, it turns out there are many more revelations to come. Son Malek warns his siblings away from following his footsteps into supporting fellow Muslims in Syria, even as his fate seems to echo the film’s opening sacrifice of an errant sheep whose left-open gate turned into horrific tragedy, but also a good meal… JWR

Nefta Football Club
France, 17 minutes, 2019
Yves Piat
Four and one half stars

A soap opera for the ages

Piat has skillfully brought together a wondrous narrative that features a headphone wearing donkey, confusion with Adele’s and Hadèl’s music, laundry soap that most certainly won’t clean anything, the universal sport of soccer and the universal notion of “greed will set us free.” What a marvelous coincidence that this film appears in the same year as Clint Eastwood’s The Mule (great to see his acting skills, but the plot leaves a lot to be desired…).

Do make tracks to the Tunisian/Algerian cinematic border and see for yourself who is really the biggest ass! JWR

The Neighbors’ Window
USA, 20 minutes, 2019
Marshall Curry
Four and one half stars

To the voyeur in all of us

Anyone who has inadvertently seen things they probably shouldn’t have (yet savoured every illicit moment) will be drawn to this enchanting tale of two couples staring into the private lives of each other due to a decided lack of drapes and the same adjacent apartment elevation.

At first, er, blush, the married with children couple shamelessly watching unbridled sex just metres away, feels a bit creepy. Still, no one on either side of the sexual divide had to watch. I dare you not to!

But when things, inevitably head south, for the unabashedly hot hedonists, the tables are marvellously turned to produce a finish that makes one and all aware of just how fragile life can be. JWR

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