Tunisia, summer 2011.Director's Statement
The holiday to Southern country ends in disaster for Fares, Meriem and their 10-year old son Aziz when he is accidentally shot in an ambush.
His injury will change their lives as Aziz needs a liver transplant, which leads to the discovery of a long-buried secret. Will Aziz and their relationship survive?
Tunisia, Summer 2011.
Fares, 40, lives with Meriem, 37, to whom he has been married for a few years, and Aziz, their 7-year-old son with whom he is very close. This is a modern and happy Tunisian family from a privileged background, cut off from the reality of a Tunisia still flickering six months after the fall of the Ben Ali regime.
Fares and Meriem honour a promise made to their son that they have constantly been postponing; a few days spent in the Tunisian South. They discover Tunisia's desert and its breathtaking and stunning beauty. But the trip turns into a nightmare: on an isolated road, their car is ambushed by an armed group. Aziz is seriously wounded. The child is rushed to the nearest hospital, but the diagnosis is bad. Aziz needs a liver transplant. Too weak for transportation, the child hangs between life and death, in a rudimentary hospital in southeastern Tunisia, waiting for an organ donation that is not coming. It doesn't take long for some long-buried truths to resurface, shaking the lives of our three characters.
What are we capable of doing in order to save our own child's life? How far will a father go? Fares will never be the same…
A film by Mehdi M. Barsaoui
Tunisia / France / Lebanon / Qatar, 2019, Fiction, 1h36 min - arabic with English subs - DCP - Scope - 5.1, Drama / All audiences
starring Sami Bouajila, Najla Ben Abdallah, Youssef Khemiri
I never had a father. Not that he is dead, but he just decided to run
away. That's why I want to make this film: I'm inventing the father I
never had. I live in a rather macho patriarchal society, built on well entrenched Arab-Muslim values, where the Father-figure is sacred.
Very often, Tunisian society reduces fatherhood to a patronymic or a
What would happen if we learned that our son does not have our genes? How would we react with all the socio-cultural weight we carry? How would this weight affect our behavior?
I want to dive into the psychology of a father, try to understand him.
Fatherhood will be the central theme of this film but several other
topics will be implied: the relationship to the body; female adultery
that is still not well explored in Arab cinema; denial; forgiveness; guilt.
I feel a visceral need to make this film in order to be at peace with
myself over all the things I never dared tell my father. I want him to
see how he was in my imagination; I want him to see how I would have liked him to be.Mehdi M. Barsaoui
Country: Tunisia, France, Lebanon, Qatar
Running Time: 96 minutes
Original title: Bik Eneich - Un fils
Technics: 96 min - Arabic, French - DCP - 1.85 - 5.1
Total Budget: 826 500 EURO
Finances Committed: 91 500 EURO
Habib Attia, Marc Irmer, Chantal Fischer
Cyrille Perez, Gilles Perez, Etienne Ollagnier, Sarah Chazelle, Anas Azrak,
Faycal Hassairi, Georges Schoucair, Myriam Sassine, Antoine Khalife
Director: Mehdi Barsaoui
Screenwriter: Mehdi M. Barsaoui
DOP: Antoine Héberlé
Music Composer: Amine Bouhafa
Sound designers: Lucas Héberlé, Romain Huonnic, Cyprien Vial, Elory Humez
Editor: Camille Toubkis
Art Production: Sophie Abdelkefi
Costumes: Randa Kheder
Make-up artists / Hair artists: Mouna Ben Abda, Najoua Bouzid
Production Manager: Khaled W. Barsaoui
1st Assistant-director: Salem Daldoul
Script supervisor: Emna Bouyahia
Press Attaché : Julie BraunCAST
Sami Bouajila........................... Fares
Najla Ben Abdallah.................... Meriem
Youssef Khemiri........................ Aziz
Noomen Hamda......................... Dr. Dhaoui
Qasim Rawane.......................... D108
Slah Msaddek (Slah Msaddak)....... The Businessman
Mohamed Ali Ben Jemaa.............. Sami
Sunnyland Film, Belgium
Dolce Vita Films, France
13 Productions, France
Doha Film Institute (DFI), Qatar
with the support of
CNC, CNCI, Région PACA, OIF (Fonds Image de la Francophonie, production grant, 70 000 €), AFAC
International Sales : Jour2fête (Paris)
Brigitta Portier, Alibi communications
23 rue Andalousie, Borj Baccouche,
2080, Ariana, Tunisia
Mob: +21623449001FESTIVALS / AWARDS
* Orizzonti Award for Best Actor - Venice International Film Festival 2019
* BFI London Film Festival 2019
* Special Jury Award, Best Arab Film and United Nations Award - Cairo IFF 2019