My favorite stories in films and movie are the human dramas. Not necessarily the high “Oscar Bait” dramas, but the ones that attempt to connect with the average person and spotlight some aspect of the human condition. You don’t get much more grounded than Karim Sayad’s documentary My English Cousin.
Sayad follows his English cousin, Fahed, who moved from Algeria to London in 2001. Today, Fahed is in somewhat of a quandary in life. He lives in the working-class town, Grimsby, for the last twenty years. He marries a local, works two jobs to pay the bills, hangs out with his English friends for beers, and is now divorced from that local. Fahed now has the chance to return to Algeria and spend time with his family, particularly his mother and nephew.
“…Fahed is sort of lost…in life.”
From the start, you can see that Fahed is sort of lost…in life. Though his roots have been in Grimsby, he doesn’t quite feel at home. When he sets out on his trip to Algeria, his friends notice he’s overpacked, and wonder if he’s going to return. When he arrives, Fahed has a conversation with his mother about a fiancé, and wedding plans are made/not made with a wedding date that is set/not set. Should also mention, we never meet this fiancé.
"…why would he screw around with a delicate family dynamic..."