Masquerades (image 1)

This warm character-driven comedy from Algeria was the Arab world festival hit of 2008.

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Masquerades 2008

Mascarades

Directed by Lyes Salem

In the Arab-world festival hit of 2008, a drunken boast has embarrassing repercussions. This Algerian wedding comedy delivers hilarious characters and trenchant social satire. “Classically executed farce.” — Variety

Algeria / France In Arabic and French with English subtitles
92 minutes CinemaScope

Director

Producers

Isabelle Madelaine
,
Yacine Laloui

Screenplay

Lyes Salem
,
Nathalie Saugeon

Photography

Pierre Cottereau

Editor

Florence Ricard

Production designer

Jaoudet Gassouma

Costume designer

Hamida Hamzal

Sound

Nicolas Provost
,
Pierre André

Music

Mathias Duplessy

With

Lyes Salem (Mounir)
,
Sarah Reguieg (Rym)
,
Mohamed Bouchaib (Khliffa)
,
Rym Takoucht (Habiba)
,
Merouane Zmirli (Amine)
,
Mourad Khen (Redouane Lamouchi)

Festivals

Tribeca, Sydney 2009

Elsewhere

This Algerian wedding farce delivers sharp character comedy and trenchant social satire. Writer/director Lyes Salem plays the status-hungry Mounir who is nettled by village tittering about his attractive younger sister Rym’s narcolepsy. He shows them who’s top dog with a fantastic pack of lies about her engagement to a European business mogul. Soon they are all kow towing and offering Mounir bribes. Rym’s clandestine liaison with his best friend renders the inevitable truth even more inconvenient than Mounir realises. — BG

“There is something Borat-like in the joyous enthusiasm with which he flaunts his braggadocio. If the men’s values are skewed by powerlessness, the women come off as flat-out magnificent. It may not be pc to make fun of narcolepsy, but when servicing the slapstick requirements of thoughtful – even socially conscious – comedy, the joke has much less to do with real illness than with classically executed farce.” — Ronnie Scheib, Variety