A portrait of contemporary French Arab masculinity, especially in relation toclass and religion, Adhen takes place at a warehouse and truck yard in a desolate industrial zone. When the workers there begin to chafe at their low wages, their boss, known as Mao, tries toplacate them by installing a mosque onsite. An example of forthright political filmmaking, Adhen propounds its point about religion as the opiate of the working class through straightforward allegory and gentle humor. After establishing himself as a subtle and charismatic leading man in his first two films, Ameur-Zaïmeche here contributes a slightly broader performance as Mao. The film takes full advantage of thevisual possibilities of its setting, using stacks of industrial pallets as semi-abstract backdrops, painted an arresting red.
Directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche. With Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Abel Jafri, Christian Milia-Darmezin
France 2008, 35mm, color, 93 min. French and Arabic with English subtitles