Despite the continued smattering of dreadful Christian films which get released every year, religion is hardly a cool subject. This is especially the case in North American cinema. Whether it’s Noah, The Passion of Christ or Risen, it’s all a little bit overblown and worthy. Thankfully, many independent film-makers have a much more innovative, fresh and interesting take on faith. Joshua Marston’s Maria Full of Grace being a prime example. In Mimosas, director Oliver Laxe creates a rather obtuse spiritual Western.
Deep in the heart of the Atlas Mountains, a dying Sheikh (Hamid Fardjad) is leading a small caravan back to his birthplace where he is going to die. However, death does not wait. Fearful and unsure, most of the party refuse to continue. The Sheikh’s body is placed in the care of two mysterious men, Ahmed (Ahmed Hammoud) and Saïd (Said Aagli), given the task of delivering the cadaver to its final resting place. In another world, Shakib (Shakib Ben Omar) is entrusted with his first mission to guide Ahmed down the correct path. He joins them on their journey.
Using a cast of non-professional actors, Mimosas shares footage with Ben Rivers’s The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers. They’re companion pieces in many ways, Laxe using the two worlds to show spirituality through visions. It’s a beautiful, yet rather strange, film. The mountains provide a striking (and rather treacherous-looking) backdrop. Mimosas is a fable of sorts. One which is not easily accessible, but the journey is worth the investment.
Mimosas is in cinemas from Friday 25 August.