Forthright Jewish widow Esther (Ariane Jacquot) is confined to a wheelchair at home in southern France and reigns over a series of unfortunate carers, the latest of which, gentle Muslim nurse Selima (Sabrina Ben Abdallah), she grudgingly accepts due to their shared Algerian heritage. When Esther’s home-help gets the boot – for what Madame perceives as general idiocy – Selima suggests her mother Halima (Zohra Mouffok) as a replacement, and an unlikely friendship blossoms between the two older women.
Halima makes a valiant foray into kosher cuisine and stubbornly refuses to heed criticism that she should not be funding her pilgrimage to Mecca with ‘Jewish money’, while Esther reminisces about Algeria and a time when Jews and Arabs were equal. But this friendship is put to the test when Esther moves in with Halima and her husband, and old prejudices rise to the surface. With a non-professional cast, this naturalistic gem blends quiet insight with warm humour: a tribute to the power of sisterhood. SM