The story of Goucem, a 27-year old Algerian woman, who works days at a photo shop and is involved in a long-term, dead-end affair with a doctor and her mother, played by Biyouna, who is an ex-cabaret dancer/singer and ...展开fears the Islamists after years of bloodshed and turmoil in Algeria during the 90s.
Having been displaced from their home (perhaps after Goucem's father's death? or maybe as a result of the Islamists/government corruption?), she and her mother are living in a residential hotel with a mixture of people including a family with young kids and a prostitute.
There are a variety of scenes of Algiers and peeks into different types of life. Goucem's life seems routine, working, dating the doctor, going to clubs meeting men and flirting with a recurring neighbor. Through sad events in the film, she discovers many things about what she really wants from life.
This film contains quite a bit of nudity and swearing, my Algerian companion at the screening said because of that type of content it will PROBABLY NEVER be screened in Algeria. (HOWEVER... I HAVE SINCE LEARNED THAT IT HAS BEEN SHOWN IN ALGERIA... TIMES ARE CHANGING, my companion at the US screening has been here since 1989 and has only returned to Algiers once in 2002) The comparison to Almodovar (of Spain) that I read somewhere is warranted, I see the similarities.
Understanding the historical underpinnings of the 90s and current day Algeria would aid in understanding, and more importantly not MIS-understanding the movie.
The movie, although dark in general ends with a glimmer of hope for better times for the some of the characters, but just a glimmer.