Arab Blues

  • Un divan à Tunis (Arab Blues)
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2019
Format : Feature
Running time : 88 (in minutes)

Selma, a psychoanalyst, deals with a cast of colourful new patients after returning home to Tunisia to open a practice.

In this sophisticated comedy, Manele Labidi opens a fascinating window into modern Tunisia at a crossroads, with a story of contrasts, contradictions and culture clashes, full of vitality and humour.

A film by Manele LABIDI

Tunisia / France, 2019, fiction, 1h28, Comedy / Drama

starring Golshifteh Farahani, Majd Mastoura, Aïcha Ben Miled, Feriel Chamari, Hichem Yacoubi, Najoua Zouhair, Jamel Sassi, Ramla Ayari

Original title : UN DIVAN A TUNIS
Year: 2019
Runtime: 88 min
Language: French / Arabic
Country: France /Tunisia
TAGS: Contemporary World Cinema, TIFF'19, Female Director, Comedy, Global Perspectives, Women In Film

After 10 years of living in Paris, Selma (Golshifteh Farahani) has returned to Tunis. Back home, her younger cousin can't figure out why she'd leave the French capital, her aunt is overbearing, and her uncle is only giving her a matter of weeks to crash in the apartment above their house. Selma, nonetheless, is steadfast in her resolve: she wants to open up a psychotherapy practice. So begins the first feature directed and written by Manele Labidi, an incisive comedy about coming home, breaking taboos, and building community.

As Selma tries to settle in, she's faced with increasing complications that she - or her guiding patron Sigmund Freud - couldn't have predicted. There isn't just the matter of finding interested psychotherapy patients in a locale that's not keen on the talking cure, but she also needs to navigate a confusing bureaucratic circus in order to get the right papers to run her practice. On top of all that, a strapping - albeit unbending - cop, Naim (Majd Mastoura), is keeping a close eye on her every move.

Farahani (seen at the Festival in 2016 in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson and who's worked with greats like Asghar Farhadi) gives a powerful and compelling performance. She hits all the comic beats and deftly inhabits a character, who, above all, wants to do what's right. Arab Blues develops with an irresistible charm while not sidestepping bigger questions about both a country and a woman at a crossroads.
KIVA REARDON (TIFF 2019, Toronto)

Jean-Christophe Reymond

Manele Labidi

Manele Labidi

Lauren Brunet

Yorgos Lamprinos

Production Designers
Mila Preli, Raouf Helioui

Olivier Dandré, Jerôme Gonthier, Rym Debbrarh-Mounir, Samuel Aïchoun

V Kelly & Associates, Inc.

Original Score
Flemming Nordkrog

Golshifteh Farahani,
Majd Mastoura,
Aïcha Ben Miled,
Feriel Chamari,
Hichem Yacoubi,
Najoua Zouhair,
Jamel Sassi,
Ramla Ayari

Production Company
Kazak Productions

International Sales Agent
mk2 films

US Sales Agent
mk2 films

Canadian Distributors
MK2 MILE END, Films We Like

French distribution:
Diaphana Distribution

2019 / TIFF, Toronto
* Selection: Contemporary World Cinema
* North American Premiere

2019 / Venise, Italy
* Selection: Giornate Degli Autori
* World Premiere
* Winner: People Choice Award


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