Independent Films, Film Profiles
Lila Says (French title: Lila dit ça) is a 2004 French film directed by Ziad Doueiri. The plot is based on the novel of the same title written by "Chimo" (a pseudonym).Chimo (played by Mohammed Khouas) is a nineteen-year-old self-described loser who lives in an Arab ghetto with his mother in post-9/11 France. Unemployed, he turns down an opportunity to study (free of charge) at a writers' school for teenagers despite showing real promise as a writer. Instead, he wastes his day hanging around with other unemployed and aimless "losers". He falls for Lila (Vahina Giacante), a beautiful blonde sixteen-year-old who just moved into the neighborhood with her eccentric and sexually abusive aunt. Lila is a self-styled "bad girl" who presents an overtly sexual persona; they begin a tentative romance after Lila invites him to look up her skirt while she rides a swing.Meanwhile, Mouloud (Karim Ben Haddou), Chimo's best friend and leader of their band of friends, also sets his sights on Lila. He begins to sexually harass Lila, not allowing her to walk the streets of the neighborhood unmolested. Chimo's disgust at Mouloud's behaviour towards Lila creates a huge rift between them. Mouloud, resentful of Chimo's changing attitude toward him and Lila's sexual indifference, vents his aggressions by attacking Lila and her aunt at home and raping Lila. Chimo is broken when he discovers Lila was in fact still a virgin, despite her stories of outrageous sexual adventures. Lila is taken away by her aunt, leaving Chimo heartbroken. However as he remembers his experiences with Lila, he writes about them, winning the writing scholarship, and ultimately changing his life and allowing him to escape the poverty of his home and to study among the best in Paris. Lila changed Chimo's world.
Year of Production: 2005
Length: 89 min.
Country: United States
- Ziad Doueiri
- Marina Gefter
- Vahina Giocante, Mohammed Khouas