It didn’t exactly make a large splash on release, but that’s a pity because this is a very welcome documentary about ageing Muslim women who had moved from Morocco to Belgium when they were young, and are easing themselves back into society after married lives spent largely shut away (the title is the familiar promise of better things ahead when they die). The documentary certainly pays attention to its most colourful character in the extroverted singer and performer Tata Milouda, but in fact there’s a tight-knit group of women at the film’s heart, and eventually we get to know most of them, particularly Mina who takes on narration duties. We see them attending Milouda’s gigs, taking language classes in a local cultural centre, making day trips around Belgium and eventually travelling to New York. It doesn’t delve into prejudice or racism so much (one certainly expects a lot more of it when they undertake their US trip), but rather focuses on the practicalities and rewards of living life in the present, along the way giving voice and representation to a group who are often unfairly demonised by Western media.
NEW RELEASE FILM REVIEW
Director/Writer Hadja Lahbib; Cinematographers Yannick Dolivo, Vincent Hufty, Jonas Canon and Cyrille Blaise; Length 85 minutes.
Seen at Curzon Bloomsbury (Bertha DocHouse), London, Thursday 21 January 2016.