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Netherlands, 2012, 83 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Drama
Program: Contemporary World CinemaLanguage: Dutch, Arabic English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Meral Uslu
Producer: Jet ChristiaanseEditor: Floor RodenburgScreenwriter: Stan LapinskiCinematographer: Ton PetersPrincipal Cast: Ali Cifteci, Nazmye Oral, Dileria Horuz, Esra Horuz
In a bleak suburb of Rotterdam, Ali (Ali Cifteci), a likable, middle-aged Turk, runs a snack shop with his wife and two young daughters. The kids that habituate the place are mostly wild and violent Moroccan boys who continually cause trouble for the kindhearted Ali. The kids respect him, but they can’t control their violent urges. Ali wants to help them, but he first must help himself, as his gambling problem has grown of control, causing him great financial trouble, as well as rifts with his wife.
The boys at the shop don’t care whether they have jobs. They see no future; it’s only the here and now for them. Making a fast buck from a heist or getting high are all that matter. Snackbar plays so real that it feels like a documentary. Documentarian Meral Uslu, in her first fiction film, creates true-to-life characters, leaving viewers pitying some and hoping others make it out from their pathetic existence.
As in a documentary, the kids talk about their days, their pasts, their friendships, while Uslu follows, camera in hand, filming the fights, Alì always acting as mediator.
- STEVE BELGARD
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