(Les Temps Qui Changent)
Directed by André Techine. 2005.
The film begins as a landslide buries Antoine Lavau (Gerard Depardieu), a supervisor inspecting a construction site, and the film proceeds with flashbacks to Antoine's arrival in Tangiers and his subsequent life in Morocco. Lavau has come to Tangiers to expedite the building of an audiovisual center in the Tax Free Zone of Tangiers. Perhaps sexpedite might be more to the point as he has basically come to rekindle a romance with Cecile (Deneueve), his first love with whom he is still obsessed, even though he has not tried to contact her during the last thirty years out of fear of rejection. Cecile is a radio announcer on a late night music and talk show. Antoine sends her flowers anonymously and spends his nights listening to her voice on the radio. In a scene played for laughs, he even watches a video about voodoo so he can render her powerless to resist his advances. When the two finally meet, it is only after Antoine runs into a glass wall breaking his nose.
Cecile has changed greatly
since coming to North Africa and has neither fond memories of Antoine nor
any wish to rekindle their romance. She is remarried to Natan (Gilbert
Melki), a Jewish doctor and they have one son, Sami (Malik Zidi), a bisexual,
who has been living in Paris with his Moroccan girl friend Nadia (Lubna
Azubal) and her son Said (Idir Elomri). He is in Tangier visiting his family
for the holidays and renewing acquaintances with his Moroccan lover Bilal
(Idir Rachati) who lives in a country estate well protected by a pack of
none too friendly dogs. Nadia, who suffers from emotional problems and
takes tranquilizers, wants to visit her twin sister Aicha while in Tangiers
whom she hasn't seen in six years but Aicha refuses to see her, telling
Nadia that it would complicate her life. These episodes have some tender
moments but we do not learn enough about either sister or for that matter
Sami or Bilal to have any emotional investment in their lives.
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