It was, in many ways a marvellous film, with lots of extended set pieces allowing the audience to absorb the characters, their lives and relationships. That said, the film would definitely have benefited from some more radical editing; there’s leisurely and there is self indulgent!
And while I am acting as a one man test screening (two years after the film’s release!) I’d change the ending – most unsatisfactory. Time Out agrees with me – “The ending – to this writer’s mind – is dramatically and artistically misjudged, but, nevertheless, it remains a remarkable and thought-provoking work.”
One thing that I wouldn’t change is the film’s music. Amongst the characters in the film are a group of older Arab musicians who end up playing at the opening night of the restaurant. Their playing forms the soundtrack to the film.
Now, I have some music in my record collection that has an Arab feel to it, most notably Radio Tarifa. This Spanish group have, over several CDs, explored traditional and classical music from southern Europe and north Africa and made their own unique hybrid.
Today’s track is the title song from their first album. It purports to be music from an imaginary radio station in Tarifa, the southernmost point in Spain.