Satin rouge (2002) - Synopsis
A widowed Tunisian seamstress takes an unlikely journey of self-discovery in writer- director Raja Amari's sumptuous and sensual SATIN ROUGE. While investigating a suspected liaison between her headstrong teenaged daughter and a cabaret musician, young widow Lilia becomes drawn to an exotic nightclub netherworld of Rubénesque belly dancers and nocturnal pleasure- seekers. She strikes up a friendship with one of the dancers, then eventually takes the stage herself-quickly becoming the favorite of both cabaret patrons and the club's hot-blooded drummer. As she gradually sheds her shapeless, matronly housedresses for the flamboyantly sequined bar-girl garb, she also begins to emerge from her cocoon of melancholy and loneliness. Variety critic David Stratton compares Amari's tale to Douglas Sirk's American suburban melodramas of the 1950s (particularly ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS) calling the film a "handsomely produced and exhilarating romantic drama."