Good mother: Of noise, fury, giggles and sweetness [critique]

Director Hafsia Herzi takes it up a notch from a more square script than You Deserve a Love.

Of noise, fury, giggles and sweetness. Two years later You deserve a love, Hafsia Herzi brilliantly confirms the hopes placed in her. She presented her second achievement, Good mother, at the Cannes film festival, yesterday, within the Un Certain Regard selection, revealing in passing a superb actress, Halima Benhamed, chosen for the main role while she accompanied her daughter to the casting.

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It was to be her very first feature, inspired by her mom. And then the slowness of the financing had pushed her to embark on You deserve a love, to fill his pressing need to film. Good mother is thus the second feature of Hafsia Herzi and the accumulated experience obviously nourished this project. Because the director goes up a notch from a screenplay more square than You deserve a love, but always crossed by what makes its strength: its ability to let life invade the screen as if its camera did not exist for its actors (all insane). And this as much in the explosive chat scenes as in the more peaceful, sadder, more melancholy moments that she allows herself more. Noise, fury, giggles and sweetness: this is how to describe the cinema of Hafsia Herzi, who stands out as a full-fledged author in just two films. “As long as I’m standing, I’ll stay strong”, says her heroine. A word that takes on its full meaning to define this large mother of a family from the northern districts of Marseille, a cleaning lady who watches like a wolf over a tribe rich in sharp personalities and temporarily amputated by a son in prison.. Good mother is the portrait of this resistant who bends but does not break. The look that Hafsia Herzi casts on her is overwhelming with humanity but devoid of angelism. Ditto for her other characters to whom she does not pass anything, without judging them, and by telling through a predominantly female prism those neighborhoods that the cinema has shown above all via male figures. His film is bubbling but never agitated in vain.

Hafsia Herzi: “You deserve a love was born from a pressing need to film”

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