14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Very funny, thought-provoking and entertaining, perfect for the summer.,
This review is from: The Source [DVD]  (DVD)
The Source is a story set in a small village somewhere in North Africa, a battle not just between the sexes, but also of traditions. One of the many jobs the women have to do is collect water from a well on a hill. One day, a distressing accident to a young woman forces her friend Leila to finally take a stand against the men and traditional values.
Leila (Leïla Bekhti) discusses the situation with all the women in the village, most are against the idea for fear of reprisals from their husbands. The village elder Mother Rifle (Biyouna) backs Leila's actions and enforces the one thing that will hurt the men more than anything, a `sex strike'. The men, most of which do not work through lack of employment, grow more and more irritable as the strike gains momentum. The women certainly know how to rile the men, passively mocking them in different ways to get their attention. But not all the women share Leila's passion for change, not least her mother-in-law Fatima (Hiam Abbass). Leila's husband Sami (Saleh Bakri) is one of the few men that support the strike. Cracks begin to appear in everyones lives, with both sides using some quite unique methods for getting what they want.
Water is used as a symbol for the general plight of the women, and director Radu Mihaileanu covers many themes such as rape within marriage, illiteracy, and the role of women in Islam. Mihaileanu tackles such bold issues not just with a seriousness but with plenty of humour. This balance between comedy and drama works really well, and what could otherwise be seen as sentimental and emotionally manipulative is dealt with real charm and sincerity. Mihaileanu crams a lot of issues into 2 hours of drama, some sub-plots working better than others.
Song and music are used really well in some of the key scenes, and its worth paying attention to the songs as they seem to resonate more powerfully, perhaps such a medium is used with more importance in such cultures? I especially enjoyed the scene where tourists paid to go to the village, a regular occurrence to help fund the village, and the women sung and danced whilst the tourists sat and clapped. The men were in attendance and clapped along, but soon realised the women had changed the words to the traditional songs to subtly mock the men for their absurdities. Its one of many charming scenes in a thought-provoking and entertaining film, topically on-point considering the current political instability in much of the middle east countries, adding a different and perhaps more human complexion that we can all relate to.