Evoking the trauma of immigration on a comic register is a courageous, but immediately endearing challenge. It is also a difficult one to rise to, especially when the film deals with, and is dedicated to, those who lose their lives in the Gibralta Straits trying to cross from Morocco to Spain. In this respect, Lalla Hobby has its strong points. By using the hero of Morocco’s successful and highly popular comedy A la recherche du mari de ma femme as the main character, Tazi is able to get straight to the heart of the matter without wasting time constructing the burlesque aspect of the character for the spectator’s benefit, as is the case, for example, in Roberto Begnini’s Life is Beautiful. Right at the beginning of the film, therefore, the priceless Haj Ben Moussa quakes with fear on the boat over, and already wants to turn back. Which is exactly what happens in spite of him, so that he even ends up in prison in Tangier. On release, he flies to Brussels, as he doesn’t intend to emigrate, but rather to find the husband of his third wife… The funny side of the situation serves as a backdrop for broaching the tragic immigrant condition and the worries of the family back home, and culminates in delicious misunderstandings, such as when the family waits to meet him and his new wife at the airport only to find him handcuffed to a charming Belgium policewoman! The screenplay by Noureddine Saïl is one of this endearing film’s major plus points. Furthermore, the rhythm of the montage, by Kahena Attia, an expert in the matter, is just right.
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