The mistake I made in selecting this film was not paying attention to the last line of the review which said the film ” compared to Antonioni.” Oh, the tedium for this loose (which is kind) and boring film. When you read the description below you might think it has potential but only when you get one hour into it do you even know why Malek is in the country side. But what was worse were all the long scenes of almost nothing, just the country side going by. Perhaps there was 20 minutes of dialog in over 130 minutes. Definitely not worth seeing. The only saving grace was the five minute Raï party, which gave you some idea how a traditional party might go. Otherwise not worth the time. If only someone had written a better movie to go along with the synopsis.
Malek is a reclusive topographer who accepts a commission to survey a remote part of western Algeria in order to extend the electrical grid. He arrives to find the area has been decimated by religious fundamentalists who have only recently cleared out. Malek meets the local police, the shepherds who are beginning to return, and villagers who invite him to a makeshift party. In the middle of the night, he is awakened by the sound of explosions. Not to worry, explains a local man. When the cicadas land in the sand, it’s enough to trigger off the buried booby-traps. But as Malek soon realizes, it isn’t cicadas setting off the mines, but refugees trying to reach the coast and a boat for Spain. The next day he finds a young woman, exhausted and terrified, hiding in a corner of his shack. Malek decides to drive her to the border, and together they set out toward some indeterminate vanishing point on the horizon. These present-day realities are interspersed with flashbacks to the idealistic political debates of his youth, and set against a soundtrack that mixes alternative rock, Nigerian Afrobeat, and Algerian Rai. With his minimalist approach to plot and dialogue, and mesmerizing cinematography, director Tariq Teguia has been compared to Antonioni. (from the SIFF site)