MWLDAN 1 | MWLDAN 2
Radu Mihaileanu | 2011 | Belgium | Italy | France |124’
In a remote and primitive patriarchal village somewhere in the harsh desert landscape of North Africa, tradition dictates that women must scramble over rocky terrain to carry water from a distant well while their idle husbands drink tea in the bar. While most of the village women accept this task as a conjugal obligation, Leila, who comes from the more liberal south of the country and whose husband is the local teacher, is determined to bring about change. Leila persuades the women to undertake direct action, and they declare a "love strike" - the denial of sexual duties until their husbands recognise that the water can be piped from the distant spring into the village square; the women’s action produces a strong reaction from the men. This superb film from the director of The Concert blends drama and comedy in precise doses to expose the situation of women not only in Muslim countries but also in poor areas worldwide. In telling its story, The Source covers a lot of ground - from debate over what the Koran says about the role of women, through male fecklessness, jealousy, psychological pressure within marriage and conformity, to tradition and the need for change.