Woman's Hearts (Corazones de mujer)

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011 Films

Panorama

BERLIN -- Directed in Arabic, Spanish and Italian by two Italian directors under the pseudonym of Kiff Kosoof, bearing a Spanish title but produced in Italy and shot in Morocco, "Woman's Heart" is not your usual festival auteur film. Albeit easy to follow, this low-key feel-good movie has enough arty intentions to keep it away from commercial circuits. A career at international festivals is more conceivable, especially gay and lesbian fests, since one of the main characters is a transvestite.

"Woman's Hearts" tells the story of Zina, an Italian woman of Moroccan descent, who is to marry a wealthy Arab in Turin. As she is not a virgin anymore, she feels ashamed she may have to cancel the wedding. Her friend Shakira, a Moroccan transvestite, decides to take her to Casablanca, where she can undergo an operation that will restore her virginity.

The editing cleverly alternates the journey of the two friends on the roads of Spain and Morocco with interviews of Shakira presented as if they were documentary sequences, in which she tells her own story of being father to a boy she never saw.

Naturally, the trip is one of self-discovery for Zina and Shakira. As they get closer to their destination, the goal of their journey becomes less and less evident. The trip points up the weight of traditions in Arab countries and Zina's modern response to ancestral beliefs and practices.
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