A Door to the Sky | Chicago Reader

A Door to the Sky

A young French Moroccan woman returns to her ancient hometown of Fez to see her dying father and is unexpectedly pulled back toward Islam. This 1989 feature by Farida Ben Lyazid acknowledges the competing influences on the characters, establishing that their lives are a mix of external forces and their own choices. Some may be surprised by the blend of feminism and Islam: the protagonist saves the family home by turning it into a traditional Islamic environment, but one serving homeless and battered women. Lyazid's imagery isn't as accomplished as her script, but there are several stunning aerial views of Fez, whose mix of distant sounds—calls to prayer and Islamic chants—powerfully conveys the pull of tradition. In French and Arabic with subtitles. 107 min.

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