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Saturday, July 31, 2021


“Lost” is a movie well worth watching if you appreciate mind-bending dramas. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Lost features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021.


Duration: 2 hours 8 minutes

Language: Arabic (English subtitles)

Writer / director: Driss Roukhe

Genre: Drama

Half an hour into watching this Moroccan film, I found myself utterly and completely at one with the title – lost! But it later became apparent that it had achieved exactly what it meant to achieve – taking its viewers along on a dizzying fantasy ride, where we cannot be sure – or even guess – what might be real or imagined.

A youngish woman, Rayna, is alone in an up-market house, except for a nurse (who reminds one of a Gestapo officer) and a weird, gormless-looking manservant, who is more of a stalker. The nurse is continually feeding Rayna medicines. The question is – does she need the meds, or is she being force-fed something in order to control her? If so, who is behind it all, and why? Good questions, which are only answered at a much later stage.

The next question that arises is “where is Omar?” – her husband, who has not answered his phone for days. Rayna believes that he is with another woman, and causes a scene – night after night – at a local bar, accusing the singer of having an affair with him. Of course, the singer denies all knowledge of Omar, and we are left wondering if he is real or a figment of Rayna’s imagination, a memory that becomes more indistinct as time passes.

Rayna – although one might think it to start with – is not being held against her will, but is free to roam the countryside, most nights as drunk as the proverbial skunk. Close to her home on every trip, she goes through a road block, manned by Halim (who looks a bit like Inspector Clouseau). He wants to protect her, and would appear to be in love with her. But is he? Who knows? He could be, but then maybe …… ?

Even more questions arise:

Who is the mysterious Mr Charqi, who meets Rayna every night at the coffee bar at her local gas station? Is he part of some plot against her?

And then there’s Mr Driss. Is he the kingpin behind the plot? And what exactly is “the plot”? And who is it aimed at? And why?

The further the movie goes, the more confusing some aspects appear, but fortunately all comes clear during the last quarter of the two-hour film, and we are led through a maze of mind manipulation, with memory erasing and implanting, steering Rayna in the direction her manipulators want her to take. Fortunately, she has a strong personality which takes over when she avoids taking the force-fed drugs, and rejects recent memory implants.

All is revealed before the final curtain, when we realise exactly who Rayna is/was, and the sinister plot behind it all. “Lost” is a movie well worth watching if you appreciate mind-bending dramas. – Barry Meehan

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit