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Sep 18, 2006

AIFF 2006: Heaven's Doors

In a time when many young men in Islamic countries are trading their lives for houris(beautiful virgins) who'll be waiting for them beyond heaven's doors, it's refreshing to see a film from a Muslim country(Morocco) promoting the allegory of mother(or the respect for her) as heaven's door.

Three stories with an overlapping story-line yet distinct characters and narratives. Gritty, fast paced flick with lot of hand-held camera action, typical of new young directors from strife-torn regions across the world.

The first story captures the angst of urban youth trapped between proverty and unemployment where the central character becomes a ganster to provide better for his mother and sister. The second story portrays a childless widow of a Moroccan man - an American woman who's given a chance to look after her nephew when the boy's own parents perish in an accident only to have him taken away from her when her maternal instincts are awakened. The third story is about a man who has spent the better half of his life in prison with his only contact with the world being his mother. But his mother dies soon after he's released. In a film that powers forward through the city of Casablanca fueled on revenge and struggles for survival, mother emerges as the door everyone is searching for.