The Blessed ★★½

A functional if unexceptional Algerian family drama, The Blessed fills its early scenes with characters straining to adjust to life a few years after their country’s most recent civil war. Characters push against limits in hopes of feeling a sense of freedom and fake normalcy while still experiencing repression. It’s here that the film is at its most effective, presenting life a constant barrage of microaggressions that must be carefully navigated. The third act predictably escalates tensions and makes the political boogeyman that existed on an almost subtextual level throughout all too explicit.