TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Mimosas’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - September 14, 2016



After the screening of Mimosas, its director Oliver Laxe tried to give a Q&A. The audience wasn’t a hostile one, since people who watch Wavelengths films know what they’re in for. A few audience members asked different versions of the ‘what’s this film about’ question. Granted, English doesn’t seem to be Laxe’s first language and neither it is mine. That might freeze people like us up into answering questions. Yet he gives us the ‘it’s open to interpretation’ answer that we get from filmmakers. He might have wanted to avoid some audience members who might try to condescendingly explain a movie even to the person who made it. Yet I would rather disagree with the filmmaker about what their movie is about. It’s not fun to keep people guessing.

So I’ll try to interpret what this film is about. A Moroccan patriarch is insisting that his family and a few stragglers come through the Atlas mountains in Morocco. He wants to arrive at his property at Sijelmassa, where he wishes to die. In a more urban section of the country, a man named Shakib (Shakib Ben Omar) is ordered to join the party. His job is to protect both the patriarch and Ahmed (Ahmed Hammoud), a man who might want to steal from the caravan. Shakib appears like an angel, the film enjoyably interweaves between realities, characters reappear in different sections of the desert after they supposedly die. This trip is an endurance test and is not for everyone.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.

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