Directed by Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux • 2011 • France
Starring François Morel, Maurice Bénichou, Hafsia Herzi
In 1930s Algeria, a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and miraculously gains the ability to speak. Along with the power of speech comes unparalleled sardonic wit, and the cat—and codirector Joann Sfar (adapting his own best-selling graphic novel)—spare no group or individual as they skewer faith, tradition, and authority in a provocative exploration of God, lust, death, phrenology, religious intolerance, interspecies love, and the search for truth. Rich with the colors, textures, flavors, and music of Mediterranean Africa, THE RABBI’S CAT takes viewers on a cross-continent adventure from the tiled terraces, fountains, quays, and cafes of colonial Algiers to Maghrebi tent camps, dusty trading outposts, and deep blue Saharan nights in search of a lost Ethiopian city.