Tarik is unable to shed a tear about the loss of his children, or that his life is in ruins. Instead he shrouds his moustache under a veil and sways his hips to the music as the procession moves down the street. Tarik is a H’Dya, a traditional dancer who appears in women’s clothes. Tarik’s father, who leads the parade down the empty Moroccan streets, bawls his eyes out when his beloved cart horse Larbi refuses to go on, and combs his mane lovingly with his dentures. Tarik’s ex-wife’s bruiser of a partner installs himself in Tarik’s toilet. And Tarik’s friend Murad is threatened and insulted on account of his homosexuality. Was there really something in the water, as everyone claims? Or is it all in Tarik’s mind?
In his third feature film, Hicham Lasri tells us, in surreally beautiful black-and-white images, about traditions and trance, intolerance and violence, friendship and flesh and blood. And about animal love – albeit possibly inappropriate. Aided by raucous Moroccan rock music, Lasri composes a David Lynch-like state of intoxication to produce a truly modern Maghrebi cinematic experience.