Lubna Azabal, Nisrin Erradi, Douae Belkhaouda
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…a gentle story, well told and acted…
The setting here is the old medina in Casablanca, Morocco, and its central focus is on a heavily pregnant young woman called Samia (Nisrin Erradi). When we first see Samia she is going from door to door in a desperate search for work of any kind and, even more urgently, somewhere to sleep for the night. We learn very early in the piece that she hasn’t told her family that she intends to give her baby up for adoption once it’s born. She is, of course, heartbroken by this prospect, but sees it as the ‘illegitimate’ child’s only chance for a tolerable future.
The other main character is Abla (Lubna Azabal), a widow who has a sweet-natured young daughter – Warda, played by Douae Belkhaouda – and makes and sells rziza (a unique Moroocan crepe). Though outwardly stern, Abla is kindhearted, and feeling sorry for Samia she decides to put her up (strictly for a few days) and give her some work while she’s under her roof.
It’s a simple premise for a touching drama in which the body language is as important as the verbal variety, and in which more revelations about the current predicaments and past lives of both women come slowly and by degrees. There are occasional moments of fun and humour, but the predominant mood is decidedly melancholy.
Adam is a gentle story, well told and acted, and its muted colours are as subtle, understated and effective as the treatment of its plot. It’s really good in its own admittedly modest terms.