THE UNKNOWN SAINT
In this delightfully droll comedy, a thief gets out of jail only to find that the fortune he buried years before has been covered up by a bizarre pilgrimage site.
In the opening moments of The Unknown Saint, a thief (Younes Bouab) hides a bag full of cash on an unassuming hilltop in the Moroccan desert, moments before being apprehended by police. When the film picks up several years later, the thief is newly freed from prison and ready to claim his buried treasure. Unbeknownst to him, the site has been turned into a shrine dedicated to an unknown saint whose gravesite supposedly holds healing powers. Frustrated but not deterred, the thief holes up in the nearby village that’s popped up to service the shrine’s pilgrims as he plots a way to break into the padlocked mausoleum and retrieve his loot. Meanwhile, a sophisticated doctor (Anas El Baz) moves to town, and must adjust to the comically slow pace of life and obstinately old-fashioned ways of the village. Populated by memorably eccentric characters and punctuated by brilliant visual gags, the debut feature of Alaa Eddine Aljem calls to mind the great deadpan works of Corneliu Porumboiu. With its gentle skewering of provincial life and superstition, The Unknown Saint laces its hilarious, bone-dry comedy with an undercurrent of world-weary wisdom.
CAST: YOUNES BOUAB, ANAS EL BAZ, HASSAN BADIDA, ABDELGHANI KITAB
In Competition: First Feature Award
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