Latest Doueiri Film Screen in L.A.

Acclaimed director Ziad Doueiri‘s new film, Lila Says, sounds like something I’d line up to see. Here’s the summary:

In a Marseilles ghetto, Lila, a gorgeous sixteen-year-old Catholic girl (Vahina Giocante), stops to talk to Chimo, a nineteen-year-old Arab boy (Mohammed Khouas). Lila asks Chimo to look up her skirt — if he can handle it, and puts into motion a sequence of events that is shockingly raw, sensual, and devastating. Lila’s angelic demeanor barely contains the vitality and powerful eroticism that she shares with him and with which she transports the shy and sensitive Chimo from the bleakness of his life. “Lila” is a coming-of-age tale that focuses on Chimo, a sensitive young man emerging from adolescence in a working class, largely immigrant quarter of Marseilles. Like many sensitive young men, he doesn’t spend his whole day sitting around reading poetry – he knocks around town getting into mischief with three pals.

Since all four are Franco-Arabs in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, universe, being hassled by the cops is part of the process as much as getting drunk. So is sticking their noses into the local mosque to check out what the sheikh has to say. None of this business is pursued in any detail. Though they evidently have pious friends, none of Chimo’s pals seems to be serious-minded enough to either engage with Islam or reject it.

Unfortunately, the movie is out only in limited release and I won’t get to see it in Portland for a long while. But you lucky bastards in L.A. get a preview and a panel, courtesy of The Levantine Center.

Lila Says
Exclusive Preview Screening/Panel
Thurs, Jun 23, 7:30 pm
Westside Pavilion Cinemas
10800 Pico Blvd.

Go. Just go. And then tell me how it was.