Winner of last year’s César Award as best film, “Fatima” is one of recent French cinema's most trenchant and moving portraits of the immigrant experience, offering a patient, reflective study of a woman pressured by her children and neighbors to assimilate into a culture of which she's understandably wary. When she emigrates to France, Fatima has little knowledge of the language, but she slowly teaches herself French while working cleaning jobs to pay for the schooling of her two teenage daughters. Although “Fatima” reveals France’s everyday racism, both veiled and overt, and honestly explores the family’s domestic disputes and the society’s occasional inhospitality, the film ultimately proves a profoundly uplifting experience. “Fatima’s” story of integrity and triumph is perhaps made even more inspiring by the fact that it’s based on the real life of North African writer Fatima Elayoubi. As the New York Times says, “Fatima” is a “small miracle of a film.”
Film CategoryInternational Spotlight Middle Eastern Focus Robert French and French-Language Focus
SubjectClass Issues Family Issues Immigration Women's Issues
Four young men speak their own version of French, bringing the men closer together but separating them from the rest of Parisian society.