Set on the eve of the Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution, that first feature from director Leyla Bouzid follows an up-and-coming underground band as they are pulled in all directions by creative energy, authoritarian oppression, and rebellion.
Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn't have the same idea. She sings in a political rock band, has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the wishes of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers all too well.
A film by Leyla Bouzid,
Tunisia / France / Belgium / United Arab Emirates, 2015, Feature Drama | 1hr 42 minutes, color, DCP
NOTE OF INTENTION "There was a special atmosphere that summer, the feeling of being in a dead end, that something would eventually explode. Young people were in turmoil, they resisted through music, blogging, Internet and their very existence. It is from them that came the energy of what happened later, it is from them that comes the energy of this film. [...] Farah is one of these young people who seeks to live life to the full despite family pressure and an omnipresent police state. As a free and impulsive singer, she is the voice of a generation that resists daily." [Leyla Bouzid]
Tags: Next Wave, First Feature, Coming of Age, Music, Female Experience, Arab Experience, North Africa, Middle East, Female Director
NOTE OF THE PROGRAMMER (Toronto 2015)
À peine j'ouvre les yeux gives us a look at Tunisian youth on the eve of the Jasmine Revolution as they are pulled in all directions by conflicting forces: disenchantment, fear, creativity, rebellion against dictatorship, rejection of conservatism, and the courage to pursue their desires.
Farah (Baya Medhaffer) is a young woman at a crossroads. Her medical-school application has just been accepted, and nothing could please her mother, Hayet (Ghalia Benali), more - but Farah's passion is for music, and her underground band is just beginning to get noticed. Their music blends rock with daring lyrics that have the raw poetry of spoken word. Soon enough, the police are alerted to the band's subversive performances and begin to harass them, and when Farah is detained and interrogated, she realizes that one of her friends is a snitch.
À peine j'ouvre les yeux is a remarkably accomplished first film, directed by Leyla Bouzid with unflagging honesty and an impeccable eye for detail. The story was inspired by Bouzid's personal experience: during Ben Ali's dictatorship, she and her friends ran a cine-club, one of whose members was discovered to be a secret-police informant.
Bouzid's behind-the-camera talent is complemented by Iraqi musician Khyam Allami's compositions and Ghassen Amami's hard-hitting lyrics, and by the engaging, truthful performances of the cast - particularly Medhaffer, a joy to watch on stage as the fiery Farah, sharing a marvellous onscreen chemistry with celebrated singer-performer Benali.
Rasha Salti (Toronto, TIFF 2015)
Foreign Title: A peine j'ouvre les yeux
Director: Leyla Bouzid
Countries of Production: Tunisia/France/Belgium/United Arab Emirates
Year of presentation: 2015 Language: Arabic Runtime: 102 minutes Rating: 14A
Production Companies Blue Monday Productions/Propaganda Productions/Helicotronc
Producers Sandra da Fonseca, Imed Marzouk, Anthony Rey, Nathalie Mesuret, Bertrand Gore
International Sales Agent Doc & Film International
producers Sandra Da Fonseca Imed Marzouk Anthony Rey Nathalie Mesuret Bertrand Gore
productions Blue Monday Productions Propaganda Production Hélicotronc
world sales Doc & Film International 13, rue Portefoin, 75003 Paris, France Ph. +33 1 42775687 - Fax +33 1 42773656 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.docandfilm.com
press office Alibi Communications Brigitta Portier email@example.com www.alibicommunications.be International number +32 477982584 Italian number from 2nd of september +39 3398674751
2015 | 40th Toronto Festival | 10-20 Sept 2015, Canada * Sélection - Contemporary World Cinema * North American Premiere * Screening: Tue Sep 15, 9:00 PM, Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 1, SUBTITLED * Screening: Thu Sep 17, 6:45 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2, SUBTITLED * Screening: Sat Sep 19, 1:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2, SUBTITLED http://tiff.net/festivals/festival15/contemporaryworldcinema/as-i-open-my-eyes
2015 | Venice Film Festival * Selection - Venise days (Giornate degli Autori) * World Premiere www.venice-days.com/FILM.asp?id=9&id_dettaglio=552&t=A+peine+jouvre+les+yeux+-+As+&lang=eng
Tunisi, estate 2010, pochi mesi prima della Rivoluzione. La diciottenne Farah si è appena diplomata e la sua famiglia vorrebbe iscriverla alla facoltà di Medicina. Lei non la pensa allo stesso modo. Canta in un gruppo politico rock. Vuole vivere, divertirsi, scoprire l'amore e frequentare la città di notte contro la volontà della madre Hayet che, invece, conosce molto bene la Tunisia e teme le sue insidie.
di Leyla Bouzid
Francia, Tunisia, Belgio, Emirati Arabi Uniti, 2015, 102', colore, DCP
"C'era un'atmosfera particolare quell'estate, la sensazione di essere in un vicolo cieco e che qualcosa, da un momento all'altro, stesse per esplodere. I giovani erano in tumulto, facevano resistenza attraverso la musica, i blog, Internet e il loro stesso esistere. È da loro che è arrivata la spinta per ciò che è accaduto dopo, è da loro che viene l'energia di questo film. [...] Farah è una di questi giovani che cerca di vivere pienamente, nonostante la pressione della famiglia e uno stato di polizia onnipresente. Come cantante libera e impulsiva, lei è la voce di una generazione che resiste quotidianamente". [Leyla Bouzid]
produttori Sandra Da Fonseca Imed Marzouk Anthony Rey Nathalie Mesuret Bertrand Gore
produzioni Blue Monday Productions Propaganda Production Hélicotronc
vendite internazionali Doc & Film International 13, rue Portefoin, 75003 Parigi, Francia Tel. +33 1 42775687 - Fax +33 1 42773656 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.docandfilm.com
ufficio stampa Alibi Communications Brigitta Portier email@example.com www.alibicommunications.be International number +32 477982584 Italian number from 2nd of september +39 3398674751
2015 | Mostra de Venise * Selection - Venise days (Giornate degli Autori) * World Premiere / Première Mondiale / Prima Mondiale * * Screening: 03/09/2015, 22:00, Perla 2 - Press / Industry * Screening: 05/09/2015, 16:45, Perla -/- Tickets, All Accreditations - Followed by Q&A * Screening: 05/09/2015, 19:00, Multisala Rossini - Venezia -/- Tickets * Screening: 06/09/2015 h 19:00: IMG Cinemas Candiani - Mestre -/- Tickets * Screening: 08/09/2015, 11:30, Perla -/- All Accreditations www.venice-days.com/FILM.asp?id=9&id_dettaglio=552&t=A+peine+jouvre+les+yeux+-+As+&