Bensaïdi’s dazzlingly imaginative second feature may differ enormously from his superb ‘Mille Mois’ in terms of setting, story and tone, but it again finds him deploying film’s full resources to tell his story in a fresh, arresting and exhilaratingly cinematic way.Kicking off with Bond-style pop-art credits, it introduces us to Kamel, a hitman sexually dependent on visits to a Casablanca whore. When he falls in love with the voice of Kenza, who picks up and answers her prostitute pal’s phone, it’s the start of a relationship not only unusually remote but unusual in that Kenza is a traffic cop with ambitions. Engagingly laconic performances by the director and his wife as the ill-starred couple set the tone for an array of gags and coups de cinema that call to mind Tati, Welles, Keaton, Tashlin, Chuck Jones et al, while remaining distinctively Bensaïdi’s own. Unlike any other film from North Africa (or indeed anywhere else), and quite extraordinary.
What a Wonderful World
Cast and crew