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A timely Global Lens

Posted at 11:32 AM on April 11, 2007 by Euan Kerr

Talk about good and bad timing.

The news of the bomb attack on the Algerian Prime Minister this morning comes on the day the Walker Art Center opens its "Global Lens" series with a film about the conflict in the north African country.

"Barakat!" ("Enough!") is set during the 1990's civil war in Algeria, but it looks both back and forward at the post-colonial and religious conflict which has gripped the country for generations.

The film follows a young ER doctor called Amel, played with a quiet ferocity by Rachida Brakni (far left,) as she tries to find her journalist husband. He has disappeared after writing an article critical of Muslim fundamentalists. Amel is accompanied by Khadidja (Fettouma Bouamari, near left,) a nurse who is also a veteran of the war against the French. It quickly becomes clear that very little is as it seems.

Director and screenwriter Djamila Sahraoui elegantly weaves into the story the issues of how one persons struggle for independence can become anothers struggle against oppression. She also is unafraid of leaving moments of ambiguity in the story, underlining the sense that even as the film ends, this struggle is far from over.

The Global Lens series which is designed to promote cross cultural understanding through cinema continues through next week. There's a lot of interesting looking films.

One other well worth a look "Fine Dead Girls" (right) plays Friday.

It's the tale of a lesbian couple whose arrival in a seedy apartment building in Zagreb, Croatia. Director Dalibor Matanic sets his story against a city still reeling from the Balkan wars and uses the women's arrival to set off a chain of events which reveal how everyone has secrets they'd rather keep.

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