Set in France in the mid-'70s during the period of Chirac's so-called 'Family Reunion' programme, this follows one such reunited family. Ahmed, an Algerian worker in Saint-Quentin separated from his wife, mother and two children for some ten years, welcomes them to France and his prepared 'castle'. The director is chiefly interested in Ahmed's wife Zouina, however, who wails at the Algiers dock for the lost company of her own mother and who baulks at every savage turn of events in France, including the racist battles with her horticulturally obsessed neighbours, and her own violent response to a fellow Algerian woman who spurns her friendship. Writer/ director Benguigui is excellent with the mother-children relationships, but the hyperbolic awfulness of the husband and mother-in-law swamp any hope of dramatic balance or audience sympathy.
Cast and crew