What grabs you immediately about Inland is the soundtrack, ranging from Afrobeat and raï to ambient electronica and indie rock. But although the diverse musical choices each add their own touch to the film, its most powerful moments are those which approach silence, a neat contrast with the wordy evening debates which sit awkwardly between scenes. The film eschews aesthetic complexity in favour of a more direct, realist approach – one particularly strong shot takes the journey of a train, inviting the viewer to survey and assess the landscape as is Malek’s responsibility. Reminiscent of Waiting For Happiness, Touki Bouki and even the exoticism of Woman of the Dunes, Inland is a bold drama with a subtle yet seductive rhythm.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
While on a mission to provide electricity in a deserted area of west Algeria, topographer Malek discovers a community damaged by the religious intolerance of Islamic extremists. After encountering many of the local representatives, ranging from policemen to shepherds, Malek realises that the task at hand involves repairing more than just electricity. Over the course of a few evenings, Malek finds himself awoken by explosions, said to be cicadas landing on mines in the area, but a daytime investigation reveals another issue – refugees. When one woman attempts to hide out in Malek’s base camp, she unexpectedly draws him into a wild journey across the country, driven only by a desire to be lost and forgotten. The film is punctuated by darkly lit flashbacks to debates about class division and society’s priorities,