Warm, lavish exteriors and gorgeous performances by Sofia Loren and talented young actors convey the sensuality of North African Jewish culture. A 13-year-old boy's life is transformed when, along with several of his comrades, he is kicked out of school for being Jewish. Meyer's mother Titine, played by Sofia Loren, must raise her family alone because her communist husband, portrayed by Phillipe Noiret (IL POSTINO) goes into hiding. Remaining graceful and dignified as she struggles to keep her family alive and together, Titine charms local black marketeers into giving her food and goods when she is too poor to pay. When her son is caught writing anti-government graffiti, she talks the colonial authorities into keeping him out of jail.
After living in relative harmony with Muslims and Christians for hundreds of years, Jews in Algeria were suddenly faced with the discriminatory laws of France's pro-Nazi government. SOLEIL is Algerian-born French director Roger Hanin's semi-autobiographical fiction, set in Algeria during World War II.