Bil’s rating (out of 5):.
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Among the most popular singers of her day, and reportedly the most celebrated in France’s music history,(born Iolanda Gigliotti in Cairo to Italian parents) is still beloved by many a music fan (you can still hear remixes of her songs on a dance floor today), and this documentary captures her at the height of her fame. It’s a short but thoroughly enjoyable puff piece that today would be an MTV special, following the chanteuse around the world (including a visit to the neighbourhood of her childhood) and featuring plenty of footage of both onstage performances and offstage recording sessions. There’s footage of her early days in Egyptian cinema (her resemblance to Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah led to her first stage name “Dalila”, which was later augmented in France), a bit of narration from her about her life and her feelings about her work, but the film never goes beneath the surface: the personal tragedies that would eventually lead to her suicide ten years later is nowhere to be seen here and you don’t walk away from the film with any feeling of having gotten to know her. On the plus side, not having her wonderful performances viewed through the lens of her ultimate tragedy makes for a joyous celebration of what she brought to the world in her short lifetime.