a film by Mohammed Soudani
Switzerland/Algeria 2010, 94′, o.v. Swiss-German, Italian dubbed version, sbt. English/German/French

Festivals & Prizes

IFFI-Internationales Film Festival Innsbruck, International competition, 2010
Izola Film Festival, Slovenia 2010 – Public Award
7. Dubai International Film festival, 2010
Festival du Film Arabe, Oran (Algeria) 2010


Oliver and Elena, a young couple from Switzerland, are crossing the Sahara in a truck, heading for Timbuktu in Mali, where their client Moussa is waiting impatiently to buy the vehicle. But when the truck breaks down in the middle of the desert, Oliver and Elena are forced into an unscheduled stop in Tar. Beset by problems of all kinds, the lack of spare parts and the absence of a specialised mechanic, the stopover gradually becomes an indefinite stay…
Taken up entirely with the need to repair his truck, Oliver becomes increasingly remote from Elena. Bored, she decides to explore the place on her own. In so doing, she meets Aya at Taxiphone, the local phone centre, and also a mysterious clairvoyant, in the narrow side streets of the oasis. Her encounter with the two women leads Elena to discover a world straight out of the Arabian Nights and to meet with women who have a level of self-awareness she could never have suspected, women who desire change. They work in Madame Lassale’s craft center, whose future is threatened by the planned extension of Taxiphone by its manager Saïd, but in the end the women persuade the two to reach an agreement.
Her experiences allow Elena to shed a great many of her prejudices, as her friendship and understanding with Aya grow deeper. More surprises are in store, as the plot develops, until Elena finally leaves the oasis while Oliver, his truck at last repaired, sets off alone in the direction of Timbuktu.


Mona Petri, Pasquale Aleardi, Tarik Bouarrara, Adila Bendimerad, Stefan Kollmuss, Belghanami Driss, Jean-Luc Bideau, Sid Ahmed Agoumi, Sonia, Bruno Ganz
Mohammed Soudani
Amka Films Productions

RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Maghreb Film and EPTV-Établissement Public de Télévision

With the support of:
Suissimage, Republic and Canton of Ticino, Film Plus, Ministry of Culture of Algerian Republic