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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hideous Kinky
Julia, in her mid-twenties and with two young children, has travelled to Morocco in search of spiritual enlightenment of the Sufi variety. There they meet up with a varied selection of characters ranging from the genial criminal to the sour missionary. But she has no money, and lives in constant expectation of a cheque from her ex (the children's father) which is always...
Published on 11 Oct. 2004 by Graham Phillips

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars SLUMMING IN SUPERIOR CULTURES
One of the palpable absurdities of White, Western culture is the belief that happiness exists outside of oneself and, by extension, outside of one’s culture.

White culture is dominated by Whites who have little sense of rootedness in the world and so feel the need to become tourists in a life they do not (& do not wish to) fully comprehend. And yet they...
Published 4 months ago by Robert BUCKNOR


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hideous Kinky, 11 Oct. 2004
By 
Graham Phillips (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Holy Smoke/Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Julia, in her mid-twenties and with two young children, has travelled to Morocco in search of spiritual enlightenment of the Sufi variety. There they meet up with a varied selection of characters ranging from the genial criminal to the sour missionary. But she has no money, and lives in constant expectation of a cheque from her ex (the children's father) which is always late or insufficient. Gradually she inches towards the realization that she must learn to live in this world before chasing after another. And all the while it is the children, wise before their time, who bear the brunt of her neglect.
This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story, totally lacking the car chases and mindless violence of Hollywood blockbusters. Aging hippies will find the period and location nostalgic, and the soundtrack is a good reminder of the early 1970s.
It is not entirely free of formulaic directing, though. The nude swimming scene seems quite untrue to the place and time of the story, and seem to have been put in purely because modern European audiences like that sort of thing.
All in all, an enjoyable evening's entertainment, which doesn't preach and doesn't pretend there are easy answers to life's problems.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUIRKY AND ABSORBING FILM..., 18 Nov. 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hideous Kinky (VHS Tape)
This is a wonderful film with stellar performances by the entire cast. It is about a young woman's quest for the meaning of life. Taking place in the early 1970s, it is very reminiscent of an era now passed, an era when "flower power" was the rule of the day.
Here, Kate Winslet plays Julia, a twenty five year old young mother of two children, nine year old Bea, stunningly acted by Bella Riza, and her younger sister, Lucy, charmingly played by Carrie Mullen. They abandon their structured, staid life in London, when Julia decides to leave their father to go to Marrakech in Morocco, then the capitol of the disaffected, in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Taking her children, Julia goes on an adventure, an adventure to which Lucy, the younger of her two daughters, takes to almost immediately. Nine year old Bea, on the other hand, begins to yearn for a more "normal", structured life. Julia, however, will have none of it. Living in a Moroccan slum with her girls, she romanticizes their existence.
Julia becomes involved with Bilal, a street performer of sorts, who looks out for them. Wonderfully acted by Said Taghemaoui, Bilal charms Julia and her daughters. He cannot, however, support them, and they cannot support themselves. This becomes clear as they begin a rag tag journey into the Moroccan country side.
Sooner, rather than later, reality sets in. The adventure wears thin on Bea who becomes estranged from her mother. The harsh reality of every day life confronts Julia, who ultimately realizes that traipsing around Morocco just puts her young daughters at risk. Unfortuntely, this realization does not occur to her until she almost loses Bea to illness. It is then that Bilal steps up to home plate and gives them the means to return. They leave Marrakech to begin their journey home, taking with them enough memories to last a lifetime.
This is a wonderful movie with exceptional cinematography. A virtual travelogue of Moroccan life, it is a visual feast that is sure to delight those who have a hankering for faraway, exotic places and a thirst for adventure
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hippie chick, 23 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hideous Kinky (VHS Tape)
This is a real Hippie type movie and at the beggining I thought it dragged on a bit but the second time watching it made me realise its one of the best films I've ever seen. Kate Winslet is excellent in this.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey for YOU to go on, 13 July 2002
By 
T. Blake - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
A film about realising your dreams and discovering that freedom always comes at a price, and that you can't escape the things which make real life.
I watched this film alone, which I think is the best way to watch any film not revolving around guns, explosions and one liners. With this, I could engage in Julia's dreams and to be equally dismayed when they lose their glow. I think if you do it right, you can go on their journey with them and any film which can do that, is working.
It's supurbly acted, from Kate and Said, but more excitingly, by the two girls whose acting is unprecedented. It's a absolutely brilliant film, and the ending must move you in some way, please.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film ever - to be watched a million times, 29 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hideous Kinky (VHS Tape)
You have to watch this film with an open mind.
It is an unusual, 'arty' film in comparison to the main stream, that at face value, appears to have a vague story-line - But there is - so much depth to this story!
You have to allow yourself to be seduced by the films simplicity and beauty, colour and innocence. You can soak it up - like a living piece of art. The characters and story are completely enchanting. How wonderful to drop everything and up sticks like Julia did. It is inspiring!
The film is delicate, intricate, sensual and wonderful, truly wonderful. Kate Winslet and Said Taghmaoui are fabulous in the film, as are the children - brilliant young actresses - very natural - they make you remember what it was like to be young and full of ideas and games and silly made-up songs.
The soundtrack is haunting and nostalgic - a fabulous film that anyone with a kind heart and a travellers' spirit will embrace and cherish for ever.
Thank you Esther Freud and Gillies MacKinnon!...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but...., 14 May 2013
By 
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This review is from: Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
An interesting film but a little long in my opinion and tends to drift off course a little, most of the acting is good but I thought the story was too vague in places, no real explanation as to why the leading characters were following the paths that they were.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia, 25 Mar. 2015
By 
Christian Nugue "go-between" (Meudon (France)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Holy Smoke/Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Everything flows, nothing stays unchanged. According to some famous old Greek philosophers at least.
I bought these 'old' DVDs to freeze the time, to remember the glorious few years during which Kate Winslet was a promising young actress, and not the superstar she has become.
I was not disappointed. She exhibits here all the qualities that made her a star: A fresh face, a body full of energy, a thirst for life and an irresistible natural impertinence that probably drew all men crazy. I could'nt quite fathom how the filmmaker came to this strange title 'Hideous kinky'. The script, somewhat screwed up, shows only an unhappy young mother trying to find her way in sunny Marocco, only to discover in the end that home is the best place. Nothing kinky about that story, only interesting views of 'normal' Maroccans living their 'picturesque'life without much ado. I love the landscapes though.
Jane Campion's 'Holy Smoke' is quite a different story, a rather dark psycho-drama with two very strong personalities getting relentlessly at each other, male ego colliding at full force with female ego. Thanks partly to her solid male counterpart, Harvey Keitel, Kate Winslet shows her quite astonishing dramatic qualities. She impersonates perfectly the duality inside the soul of a beautiful young woman who knows that she must hold to the truth, to 'her' truth, and the moments of reckoning when she realizes that her opponent might have some things right. The ending shows both fighters exhausted but somehow happy together. An allegory for the sex war and an outstanding actors performance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SLUMMING IN SUPERIOR CULTURES, 13 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Hideous Kinky (DVD)
One of the palpable absurdities of White, Western culture is the belief that happiness exists outside of oneself and, by extension, outside of one’s culture.

White culture is dominated by Whites who have little sense of rootedness in the world and so feel the need to become tourists in a life they do not (& do not wish to) fully comprehend. And yet they feel that the cultures in which they slum are somehow inferior; despite their believing they will discover themselves by slumming in them.

The chosen White inability to introspect honestly and rationally is the dramatic basis here and the film lurches dangerously into creating a travelog that endorses such personal irresponsibility. This movie is really an adventure-without-an-adventure since the White characters are still in the process of becoming, thus the adventure is never felt internally - merely as something to talk about rather than something to learn from.

The magnificent and always game Kate WINSLET gets the empty ebullience of her character with ease and successfully manages to convey her pointless wanderlust. Her selflessness lies in not having any stability to offer her children, allied with the strange fact that she thinks this is advantageous to them. Her lack of a sense of permanence leads her to live on quicksand rather than in genuine self-knowledge. Her desire is the usual: To be someone else; to believe the world owes her a living; and, that the world is her oyster.

This is the running away from reality that the film, itself, does not fully explore. A shame because the story of the creation of a meaningful life for oneself and one’s dependents would have made for a much better and more emotionally-engaging movie than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good film, makes you wanna go on a journey of self discovery, 28 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is a tale of a woman played by Kate Winslet who is in search of the meaning of life.
It is well written and well acted. Its a good film to settle down to with a nice glass of wine on a Sunday night.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A colourful, spiritual favourite, 25 April 2014
This review is from: Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This remains one of my favourite Kate Winslet films. She's warm and natural and the exotic colourfulness is, if not appealing, certainly beguiling. It begins rather randomly - but then, so is the novel. It also adds to the offbeat feel and allows us to have understanding of 1970s Morocco. Like Titanic, it's a seemingly itinerant irresponsible man who sets Kate's character free with a sacrifice. Some have called Julia irresponsible, but her love for her girls is evident, and her desire to experience adventure and something beyond western materialism is very sympathetic, and I think, admirable - and also honestly portrayed. The children for once are not precocious but their behaviour felt very real, such as the randomness of their stories and games.

It's a noisy film, so not one to watch when someone's sleeping in the next room. Plenty of ululating and drum bashing and market shouts, and a soundtrack that's sort of ethnic and contemporary folksy.

I have had much pleasure in rewatching this since it was released and I have yet to tire of it.
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Holy Smoke/Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999]
Holy Smoke/Hideous Kinky [DVD] [1999] by Jane Campion (DVD - 2003)
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