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Ahmed (Sami Outalbali) is an 18-year-old from Algeria who lives somewhere in the suburbs of Paris. Although he comes from an apparently poor family and lives in a typical social apartment in a social skyscraper where mostly people like him live, Ahmed managed to study literature at the prestigious Sorbonne with a scholarship. Although he was born and raised in France, Ahmed has built a strong Arab and Islamic identity, regardless of the fact that he can neither read nor write Arabic, and he will be completely shocked when he discovers erotically charged poetry in an Arabic literature course. Ahmed will remain completely confused because he was brought up thinking that sexuality and eroticism were something bad and he tried to suppress his urges, and this will become even more difficult when he meets Farah (Zbeida Belhajamor), a colleague who came to study in Paris from Tunisia.

The Tunisian filmmaker Leyla Bouzid presented this somewhat atypical romantic drama during the critics’ week in Cannes, and the most interesting segment of “A Tale of Love and Desire” or “Une histoire d’amour et desir” in the original is the fact that the male character is the one who is restrained , while the woman is much more open, more modern, even though he grew up in Europe, and she comes from Tunisia. Very soon it will become clear that there is an attraction between Ahmed and Farah, but the shy and withdrawn young man will try to suppress what he feels and behave according to some traditional customs that require him to hold back, hide his feelings, all that is supposedly written in some holy book .

On the other hand, he will be completely surprised by Fahra’s openness, modernity, completely breaking out of some kind of typical female behavior that he is used to in the suburbs where mostly immigrants from Africa live. It will turn out that the girl who grew up in Tunisia is far more modern and emancipated than him, who is worried about how the environment will react and withdraws, while at the same time he would explode with unhappiness. I was really irritated by this kid who obviously feels less valuable than his modern college colleagues and thinks that he doesn’t belong in that circle, complicates and sucks, puts himself in a situation where he is left without one of those pure and great loves that he read about since he was young. And that’s only because of some nonsense that someone once wrote down in a book and now everyone should stick to that idiocy.