The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

29 January 2016

CEAUP - Porto, Portugal 2016 : CALL FOR PAPERS | CHAMADA DE TRABALHOS - International Colloquium Women’s Struggles in the Cinema of Africa and the Middle East | Colóquio Internacional Lutas das Mulheres no Cinema de África e do Médio-Oriente


International Colloquium Women’s Struggles
in the Cinema of Africa and the Middle East
12-13 May 2016

Colóquio Internacional Lutas das Mulheres
no Cinema de África e do Médio-Oriente

12-13 de maio de 2016

Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto:

CALL FOR PAPERS

Cinema exposes realities characterizing the society which produces it, but it is at the same time a form of critical narrative that has questioned, challenged and even disrupted social and cultural patterns often proposing alternatives that may transform, overthrow and supersede them.

This conference thus aims to reflect on the relations between cinema and society through a multidisciplinary debate around the representation of women and their struggles in the cinemas of Africa and the Middle East. This cinematographic production, still way too little disseminated and known in Europe, has been proposing broad and diverse readings on women's lives: readings for which female filmmakers whose approaches diverge from the hegemonic views have greatly contributed. It is this plurality of cinematographic views in the feminine and on the woman – different ways of questioning and expressing the polyphony of African and Middle Eastern worlds – that is intended to be discussed at this conference.

In this regard, the Centre of African Studies of the University of Porto invites students, researchers, academics and filmmakers to contribute to this event through presentations that may fall under the following topics:

-  Women in conflicts and in social movements; 
-  Women and war films; 
-  Female directors: "She" on "She"; 
-  Representations of gender; 
-  Creation, production and film distribution. 

CEAUP – Faculdade de Letras e-mail: ceaup@letras.up
Universidade do Porto

Via panorâmica, s/n
Tel.: +351 22 607 71 41
4150-564 Porto

Location
Conference – Faculdade de Letras, University of Porto Film exhibition – Universidade Popular do Porto

Dates and deadlines
Submission of abstracts: until March 15, 2016 Notification to applicants: until March 31, 2016 Inscriptions: May 1-10, 2016

Registration fee
30€

Guidelines for abstracts and communications
Abstracts are limited to 1500 characters (incl. spacing).
Abstracts and presentations must be presented in Portuguese, French or English. Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes.

Organizing committee
Ali Akça
Ana Palma
Célia Taborda Silva
Fátima Rodrigues 
Jorge Ribeiro
Maciel Santos
Marco António
Suzan Massoumi

For any questions, contact the organization at the following address:


CHAMADA DE TRABALHOS

O cinema é revelador de realidades que caraterizam as sociedades que o produz, mas é ao mesmo tempo uma narrativa crítica que tem interpelado, desafiado e até mesmo perturbado modelos sociais e culturais propondo frequentemente alternativas que os possam transformar, derrubar e substituir. Neste colóquio pretende-se refletir acerca destas relações entre o cinema e a sociedade partindo de um debate multidisciplinar em torno das representações das mulheres e das suas lutas no cinema produzido e realizado em África e no Médio-Oriente. Esta produção cinematográfica, ainda muito pouco difundida e divulgada na Europa, tem vindo a oferecer leituras amplas e diversificadas sobre a vida das mulheres. Leituras para as quais muito têm contribuído mulheres cineastas com abordagens que diferem de visões hegemónicas. É essa pluralidade de olhares cinematográficos no e sobre o feminino - enquanto formas de exploração e de expressão da polifonia dos mundos africano e do médio-oriente -, que se pretende debater neste colóquio.

Neste contexto, o Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto convida estudantes, investigadores, académicos e cineastas a participar neste evento através de comunicações que poderão enquadrar-se nos seguintes tópicos:

-  As mulheres nos conflitos e nos movimentos sociais; 
-  As mulheres e os filmes de guerra; 
-  Cineastas: “Ela” segundo “Ela”; 
-  Representações de género; 
-  Criação, produção e distribuição cinematográfica.

Local 
Colóquio - Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Visionamento de filmes – Universidade Popular do Porto 

Datas e prazos 
Submissão de resumos: até 15 de março de 2016 Notificação aos proponentes: até 31 de março de 2016 Inscrições: 1 a 10 de maio de 2016 
Tel.: +351 22 607 71 41 ceaup@letras.up

Orientações para os resumos e as comunicações 
Os resumos terão no máximo 1500 caracteres (incl. Espaços).
Os resumos, bem como as comunicações, deverão ser apresentados em português, francês ou inglês. As comunicações não poderão exceder os 20 minutos.

Envio dos resumos para o endereço

womenandcinema@gmail.com 

Valor da inscrição 
30 euros

Comissão organizadora 
Ali Akça
Ana Palma
Célia Taborda Silva
Fátima Rodrigues 
Jorge Ribeiro
Maciel Santos
Marco António
Suzan Massoumi

Em caso de qualquer dúvida, contatar a organização através do endereço :



28 January 2016

Maman(s) by/de Maïmouna Doucouré: Sundance Short Film Jury Award - International Fiction | Prix du Best Short Film International Fiction à Sundance

Maman(s) by/de Maïmouna Doucouré: Sundance Short Film Jury Award - International Fiction | Prix du Best Short Film International Fiction à Sundance.

Unifrance website : Mother(s) : http://en.unifrance.org/movie/40463/mother-s 
Unifrance website: Maman(s) : http://www.unifrance.org/film/40463/maman-s 

(video screen grab)


Synopsis

[English]
Eight-year-old Aida lives in an apartment in a suburb of Paris. The day her father returns from his trip to Senegal, their country of origin, the daily life of Aida and the whole family is totally disrupted: the father did not return alone, he was accompanied by a young Senegalese woman, Rama, who he presents as his second wife. Aida, sensitive to her mother’s suffering, decides to get rid of the newcomer.

[Français]
Aida, huit ans, habite un appartement de banlieue parisienne. Le jour où son père rentre de son voyage au Sénégal, leur pays d'origine, le quotidien d'Aida et de toute la famille est complètement bouleversé : le père n'est pas revenu seul, il est accompagné d'une jeune sénégalaise, Rama, qu'il présente comme sa seconde femme. Aida, sensible au désarroi de sa mère, décide alors de se débarrasser de la nouvelle venue.


 

LINKS | LIENS 

A review/une critique by/par CLAIRE DIAO :

English: (Translation from French) The mothers of Maïmouna Doucouré

Français : Les mamans de Maïmouna Doucouré (Version originale publié le 30 avril 2015 sur Bondy Blog en partenariat avec Libération)

24 January 2016

2016 Festival Elle tournent | Dames Draaien (Women shoot films) – Monique Mbeka Phoba : Masterclass – Belgium | Belgique


2016 Festival Elle tournent | Dames Draaien (Women shoot films) – Monique Mbeka Phoba : Masterclass – Belgium | Belgique - 28 January - 1 February | 28 janvier - 01 février

Source : Festival Elle Tournent - http://ellestournent.be 

[ENGLISH] FRANÇAIS CI-APRÈS

The Elles Tournent (women shoot films) Festival is back, new locations, new date: the 8th edition arrives in January, one month between the future and the past, a whole programme!

A festival of women filmmakers sharing discoveries and passions with a cohort of film enthusiasts and filmmakers.

Again this year there is a range of selections: fiction, documentary, animation, short and filmed performances, unreleased, rare films or coming out of oblivion. The more than 40 filmmakers from Belgium and around the world amaze us with the originality, relevance, innovative vision of their films and their power of expression, their commitment, their poetry and humour.

The Festival is a concert of voices of the world. A Korean shows us grandmothers who learn Kung Fu in Kenya; a Lebanese-Canadian takes us in a speed car race of Palestinian women; a Londoner shows how a former prostitute fights against sexual violence in Chicago; deaf women express themselves and are heard by a Canadian; Iranian women filmmakers dream of the future of their countries; a Congolese filmmaker examines the theme of colonisation, and many others.

The festival is full of events and meetings. Film professionals pose important questions, academics analyse gender, and researchers examine figures and data. This is an opportunity to formulate strategies in order to assert the significance of a women’s cultural critique.

"To look at the world through women's eyes is to expand its 180 degree field of vision.
Monique Mbeka Phoba : Masterclass - Colonization in present-day Belgian cinema: still a taboo subject?

Faced with the taboo of colonial imagery and hearing that I was the only one to have made a fiction on this period, I decided to go and explore this secret territory: current Belgian films about colonialism. And hallelujah, the majority of directors who have chosen this theme are women. Strange, isn’t it?” Monique Mbeka Phoba

FRANÇAIS

Le Festival Elles Tournent est de retour, nouveaux lieux, nouvelle date: la 8ème édition arrive en janvier, un mois entre avenir et passé, tout un programme ! 

Un festival de réalisatrices, pour partager les découvertes et les enthousiasmes d’une équipe de cinéphiles et de cinéastes. 

Cette année encore l’offre est de choix. Avec des fictions, documentaires, animations, courts métrages et performances filmées, inédits, films rares ou sorts de l’oubli, plus de 40 réalisatrices de Belgique et du monde entier nous surprennent par l’originalité, la pertinence, la vision novatrice de leurs films ainsi que leur puissance d'expression, leur engagement, leur poésie et leur humour.

Le Festival est un concert de voix du monde. Une Coréenne nous fait découvrir des grand-mères qui apprennent le Kung Fu au Kenya, une Libano-canadienne nous entraine dans la course des bolides de femmes palestiniennes, une Londonienne montre comment une ex-prostituée lutte contre la violence sexuelle à Chicago, les femmes sourdes s’expriment et sont entendues par une Canadienne, des réalisatrices d’Iran rêvent l’avenir de leur pays, une réalisatrice congolaise interroge le thème de la colonisation et bien d’autres encore.

Le Festival foisonne d’évènements et de rencontres. Les professionnelles du cinéma posent des bonnes questions, les universitaires analysent le genre, les chercheuses examinent les chiffres et les données. C’est l’occasion de préparer des stratégies pour affirmer la nécessité d'une pensée culturelle des femmes.

"Regarder le monde par les yeux des femmes, c’est élargir son champ de vision de 180 degrés. 

Monique Mbeka Phoba : Masterclass - La colonisation dans le cinéma belge actuel: un sujet tabou?

“En entreprenant mon court-métrage 'Soeur Oyo', je me suis confrontée au tabou de l'imagerie coloniale. A force d'entendre que j'étais la seule à avoir fait une fiction sur cette période, cela a éveillé mon intérêt. J'ai donc décidé d'aller explorer ce territoire encore secret: les films belges actuels sur la thématique coloniale. Et alléluia, la majorité des réalisateurs qui ont choisi ce thème sont des femmes. Mystère, vous avez dit mystère?” – Monique Mbeka Phoba


16 January 2016

Wiki Loves Women : Writing Contest: 15 days to create 15 biographies on notable African women! | Concours d'écriture: 15 jours pour créer 15 biographies de femmes africaines notables !

Wiki Loves Women : Writing Contest | Concours d'écriture

Contest is OPEN  | Le concours est OUVERT 
Source & Images: Wikipedia

[English]
Writing Contest: 15 days to create (at least) 15 biographies on notable African women! The contest will start on the 15th of January 2016 (0:00 UTC) and will end on the 31st of January 2016 (23:59 UTC)

On the 15th of January 2016, Wikipedia will celebrate its 15 year anniversary.

However ... even after 15 years, content about Africa in general, and African women in particular, is still limited on the world's largest source of knowledge.

For this reason, it was important to celebrate Wikipedia 15 by organising a bilingual (English/French) writing contest to increase the number of notable African women that are covered on Wikipedia.

This contest launches Wiki Loves Women, a content liberation project related to Women in Africa in 6 countries.

[Français]
Concours d'écriture: 15 jours pour créer (au moins) 15 biographies de femmes africaines notables ! Le concours commencera le 15 janvier 2016 (0:00 UTC) et se terminera le 30 janvier 2016 (23:59 UTC)

Le 15 janvier 2016, Wikipedia célèbrera ses 15 ans d'existence.
Mais... même en 15 ans... le contenu sur l'Afrique en général - et sur les femmes africaines en particulier - reste limité.

D'où l'idée de célébrer les 15 ans de Wikipédia en organisant un concours d'écriture bilingue anglais/français visant à augmenter le nombre de biographies de femmes africaines notables.

Ce concours coïncide également avec le lancement du Projet:Wiki Loves Women, un projet de libération de contenu relatif aux femmes dans 6 pays africains.



Wildtrack Newsletter #20, January 2016, published by Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ)

The WILDTRACK NEWSLETTER, published by the Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) is accessible on the ICAPA TRUST website: http://icapatrust.org/news.html

The Wildtrack Newsletter covers information, issues and events relevant and related to African women in cinema in general and specifically those from Zimbabwe, including coverage of the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF), the annual film festival which takes place in Zimbabwe. In addition, it covers gender related arts-based activities in the Zimbabwe area.

Back issues are also available on the ICAPA Trust site: Issue 19, Issue 18, Issue 17, Issue 15, Issue 14, Issue 13, Issue 12, Issue 11, Issue 10, Issue 9, Issue 8, Issue 7.


Current issue contents include:





14 January 2016

Films Femmes Afrique | Films Women Africa - 2016 - Dakar

Films Femmes Afrique | Films Women Africa - 2016 - Dakar


From 19 to 27 February 2016, Dakar hosts the second edition of the first film festival dedicated to women: Films Femmes Afrique (Women Films Africa).

Du 19 au 27 février 2016, Dakar accueille la deuxième édition du premier festival cinématographique consacré aux femmes : Films Femmes Afrique. 


[English]
Created in 2003 by the Franco-Senegalese Association, Trait d’Union, the FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE festival is back for a second edition full of promise and wonderful cinematic encounters.

This year the festival will be sponsored by the actress Maimouna Ndiaye, awarded at Fespaco 2015 for her performance in the film The Eye of the Storm.

This major Dakar-based cultural event offers a score of short and feature films as well as documentaries made FOR Africans and BY Africans.

Organized around the theme "Women, Work and Emigration" the FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE Festival aims to highlight the courage and determination of these African women, the majority of whom work and sometimes go abroad in order to take care of their families.

With free screenings throughout the city of Dakar and its suburbs and organized debates and conferences with the invited filmmakers, the FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE Festival aims to inform and educate the Dakar population regarding current social realities.

This wonderful initiative, supported since its first edition by important institutions such as the Ministry of Culture of Senegal, the Embassy of France in Senegal and many others, is primarily intended to enrich African cinema, but also to assist it in reaching out to the Senegalese public.

[Français]
Créé en 2003 par l’association franco-sénégalaise Trait d’Union, le festival FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE revient pour une seconde édition pleine de promesses et de belles rencontres cinématographiques.
Cette année le festival sera parrainé par l’actrice Maïmouna Ndiaye, primée pour son interprétation dans le film L’œil du cyclone, au festival Fespaco 2015.

Ce rendez-vous culturel incontournable dakarois propose la projection d’une vingtaine de films, court et long métrage ainsi que des documentaires réalisés PAR des africains et POUR des africains.

Organisé autour du thème « Femmes, Travail et Emigration » le festival FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE a tenu à mettre en lumière le courage et la détermination de ces femmes africaines dont la majorité travaillent et parfois s’expatrient pour nourrir leur famille.

Grâce à des projections gratuites à travers la ville de Dakar et sa banlieue, des débats et conférences organisés avec les réalisateurs présents, le Festival FILMS FEMMES AFRIQUE a pour vocation d’informer et de sensibiliser la population dakaroise aux réalités sociales actuelles.

Cette belle initiative, soutenue depuis sa première édition par de grandes institutions telles que le Ministère de la Culture du Sénégal, l’Ambassade de France au Sénégal et bien d’autres, vise avant tout à valoriser mais aussi à aider le cinéma africain à faire un pas de plus en direction de son public sénégalais. 


12 January 2016

2015 African Women in Cinema Blog : Highlights | Faits marquants

2015 African Women in Cinema Blog : Highlights | Faits marquants

















05 January 2016

Season 2 - An African City

Season 2 - An African City

Source: YouTube. Image: Screen grab from An African City trailer

The girls are baackkkk! Nana Yaa (MaameYaa Boafo), Sade (Nana Mensah), Ngozi (Esosa E), Makena (Marie Humbert) and Zainab (Maame Adjei) return to confiding in one another about life and love in season 2 of 'An African City'. 



Season 2 will be globally available via subsciption on Sunday, January 24 at 12:00 p.m. EST: www.anafricancity.vhx.tv

Season 2 will also be available on EbonyLife TV (DSTV - Channel 165) on Monday, February 1 at 8:30pm WAT/9:30pm CAT.

Season 2 will also be coming soon in French on A+ (Canal+ Afrique)!

Nicole Amarteifio, Creator, Writer, Director & Executive Producer 
Millie Monyo, Executive Producer

04 January 2016

Interview with Leyla Bouzid by Olivier Barlet about "As I Open My Eyes" | Entretien d'Olivier Barlet avec Leyla Bouzid à propos de "A peine j'ouvre les yeux"


©DR (Africultures)
"Coming to terms with the past will allow one to continue." Interview with Leyla Bouzid by Olivier Barlet about As I Open My Eyes | "Se réconcilier avec le passé permettra de continuer." Entretien d'Olivier Barlet avec Leyla Bouzid à propos de A peine j'ouvre les yeux

Source : AfriculturesTranslated from French by Beti Ellerson. Image : ©DR (Africultures).

[English] Français ci-après

In French theatres on 23 December 2015, As I Open My Eyes is an event: the revelation of a young Tunisian filmmaker and a film of great significance. This interview, which focuses particularly on the cinematic gesture, is a useful way of measuring its importance.

Olivier Barlet: Why the title "As I Open My Eyes?"

Leyla Bouzid: It reflects the 18-year-old character Farah as she opens her eyes to life; but also it is about her raised consciousness throughout the film. It also relates to the emerging awareness of her mother. Similarly, it is about a country opening its eyes to its reality. And in a more down-to earth-way, it is the title of a recurring song in the film.

With Farah, is it not the opportunity for you to show what you have lived, your youth?

It has often been said and believed that the Tunisia under Ben Ali was cool, however, I grew up in an environment where this was not the case. When the revolution took place, I had a strong urge to return to this period.

The film is constructed on the contrasting elements of the vitality of Farah and her band on the one hand and the concessions of the other adults on the other. But one wonders whether the adult element will gradually take over in terms of safeguarding this vital energy that will become the revolution.

This very forceful momentous energy is at the heart of the film and was the basis of the artistic choices at all levels. For me, this burst of energy will gradually contaminate the generation of adults, the city, etc.; though constantly confronted with attempts to stifle it. Everyone will try to tame this energy. Will this energy be ultimately crushed? This is the suspense of the film.

You mention the artistic choices. They are indeed striking, in the way of filming the concerts with Farah’s constant fluctuations.

Yes, the film has this energy that takes it to a final calm. In writing the script, I cut the scenes as short as possible, which gives this sense of energy. For the group, there could have been a fake band with perfect playback, but I wanted to capture that live energy, perhaps with off-key notes and a bit on the rough side. We dialogued a great deal with the cinematographer and musician regarding the rehearsal and concert scenes.

You're not a musician though the music and songs have an important place in the film. What was your experience in this context?

It was the big challenge of the film! The music is very relevant: a song can spread very quickly without the authorities able to control it. I wrote suggestive texts, with emotional color for each song, and during the preparation stage, I went to see a friend, Ghassen Amami, who writes beautiful lyrics in Tunisian. Some were written in one setting and others after going back and forth. For the musicians, I wanted an electric rock band with electric oud, but that would be an acoustic mix of rock and electronic music with the energy of popular traditional Tunisian music, of mezoued (1), of mensiettes (2 ), etc. I met a lot of musicians but only through a chance encounter I was able to find Khyam Allami who is Syrian and has lived a bit in Tunisia. He is an oud virtuoso but also has the rock band, Alif Ensemble. We shared the same interest in grouping influences within the same momentum. He put himself into the skin of a young Tunisian of 2010 and it was very productive. He wrote the music, especially for the voice of Baya Medhaffar who played the role of Farah, he helped me during the casting, worked with the musicians at rehearsals, was present during the shooting of the music scenes, ensured that the performances took place live, was there during the sound mixing, etc. And as he is someone very competent technically, it was a huge contribution.

The casting must have been difficult to find musician-actors or actor-musicians!

In fact, there are no real actors in the film: they have no professional experience. For the role of Farah, I met with a lot of people; I wanted a young person who could sing. Baya Medhaffar had graduated just before the shooting. She supported the project totally, sang well, and with eyes that sparkle, had this zeal for life. I tested her a lot and she did everything to get the part, going as far as taking me to the bars and playing the role of Farah! In real life she is close to the character and the problem was mainly to work on the differences. Once Farah was found, we followed the same course for the rest of the casting. Ines, the other girl in the group played by Deena Abdelwahed, I spotted at a concert and adapted the role, which was initially for a male character, in order to incorporate her. There were a lot of meetings: I did acting games but I also adjusted my characters. It was necessary for them to really live within the film.

Did having a non-professional team require a lot of rehearsals and takes?

There was already very meticulous work on the selection of people, and a reading of the text alone with each one. The film is very carefully written but we worked on the improvisations right in the heart of the scenes. While they acted, I took the words and rewrote the scenario with their words and gave the text back to them; they were supposed to learn it but this was a dialogue very close to them, very familiar. While shooting, cinematographer Sébastien Goepfert, with whom we had already shot Zakaria, was very flexible and set up the lighting and framing in a manner that would allow the space for discovery. I could let them experience the scenes: we adapted to each other and from one shot to another, down to the smallest detail. After a few run-throughs we found the right approach and after many retakes we found the right balance. A lightness and naturalness often came at the end of this work.

Were the camera angles, shots, etc. developed gradually during the rehearsals or did you story-board the scenes with a precise idea in mind?

I made a pretty accurate overall shooting script, which is partially in the film, including the places and characters, but I stayed very open during the filming to adapt according to what was working and what was not. The powerful shots were found during the shooting, others were created based on the architecture of the apartment, using the hall, for example, to designate perspective. In the transportation terminal, I had axis points in mind but it did not always work: during the shooting there is a certain exploration based on the interaction between the characters.

Was it a big change from short to feature film?

The temporality of the short is a bit strange: when considering the waiting time, it takes almost as much time as a feature film. Considering the work involved, the intensity of the feature is more just. I always tended towards the feature: there is a dimension that suits me better. I am perhaps a bit chatty! The crew was larger, but in order to maintain a certain agility I did not want it too big, especially in the interior locations.

Precisely, on the question of temporality, the film is built on accelerations followed by breaks where the subtlety of the characters could find its richness. Had you thought about the film in this way?

There was this overall movement from the start, and very lively moments in the script; but there were also long sequences where things evolved quite a bit. It was not done completely consciously: it was in relationship to the story but also to Tunis, which is a city where things develop in episodes.

The film revolves around a series of betrayals that respond to each other, which allows for this dramatic structure: was it the central theme?

Perhaps. The theme is about all that keeps the momentum of life from thriving. But I especially wanted to emphasize the notion of surveillance: at the same time protection, impediment, obstacle, either within the family or group. It is this ambiguity that I wanted to bring out. I thought of Farah as a metaphor of the country and she ends up in the hands of the police: this surveillance and this police presence prevent Tunisia from succeeding, despite its desire for freedom.

The end of the film is open-ended but this articulation between betrayal and surveillance is indicative of your point of view: you embrace the radicalism of the character at the start but then lead her to grapple with difficult situations.

Yes, the film retracts in the end to something very personal: the acceptance of what one is. In concentric circles, it starts in the intimate, and widens gradually, then closes because these circles reproduce each other. Coming to terms with the past will allow one to continue. The police, they are us, ourselves, our self-censorship. This is why I humanized the characters of the police officers who expose themselves. One must resolve one’s own problem with oneself.

This means reconciliation with oneself

Yes, I did not want to enter into a Manichaeism: it was important for me to show that everyone was a bit stuck. I thought a lot about the past of each character so that they would have this solidity between the said and the unsaid. It was necessary that each character carry a complexity and humanity, torn between opposites. Only Farah is carried by her desire for life and she goes for it.

Is this what moves you to cinema, this desire to restore this complexity?

What moves me to cinema is to tell stories and give emotion, but it's true that there was something too simple in this revolution: I wanted to partake in a travail de mémoire (memory work) of the atmosphere, attitudes, fear and paranoia, and to show how everything was interwoven and complex, and how everyone was trapped.

In today's Tunisia, does this take on a social and political function?

It is true that we are in a somewhat Manichean period, between the positive and the negative. It was very important for me to stay in this period of the summer of 2010, followed by five years of moments of hope and despair. If we could just draw a picture of 2010, it could illuminate the present, because one must resolve—which the film shows—the past to face the future. We have a tendency towards amnesia in Tunisia: one is pushed towards the future and that's good, but that which caused this revolution are elements that are still valid today.

The black maid is an extremely positive character but is related to the stereotype of the domestic…

The character Ahlem, which means "dreams" in Arabic is actually positive: she brings humor and lightness while living a very hard life. She was not black in the script, but when I chose the leading actress, Baya Medhaffar, I had already spent a lot of time at her house where I met the maid, Najoua Mathlouthi, whom I found very beautiful, very earnest and who had a great relationship with Baya, which corresponded to what I wanted in the film. It was her class that set her apart from those I had in the casting calls. I struggled a bit to integrate her into the production because she could not read. But she used many proverbs that enriched the role. She seized the story and the place she held within it. She is Tunisian but she is also black: that is a reality. I decided not to deal with this in and of itself.

When working in the world of cinema does being the daughter of Nouri Bouzid present challenges?

There are advantages and inconveniences. At the present it is calm for me, we have an interesting dialogue. He’s my father: there is a transmission without my knowing how to specify it exactly. He has a strong personality: it is not easy to not be in his shadow. I went to France to do my studies in order to construct my own gaze. My cinema is my gaze. One can clearly see the differences and what constitutes my cinema in its own right. I separated from him in all stages of the film. He accepted it here although it was more difficult during the film school shorts. Afterwards, Zakaria was made very far from him. By coincidence, the screening at the Carthage Film Festival took place on his birthday!

When I decided to go into cinema when I was quite young, I knew from my father the challenges of each film, even if one is known and respected like him. I saw how much he worked. And I knew that one does not make a feature at thirty years old, without stars, and in Arabic, without it being a lot of work!

Notes
1. Mezoued: Traditional bagpipes, widespread in Tunisia but also in Algeria and Libya. It is by metonymy, a form of Tunisian popular music.
2. Mensiettes: women’s chants of Kef (a municipality in Northwestern Tunisia whose principal town is of the same name).

[Français]
"Se réconcilier avec le passé permettra de continuer." entretien d'Olivier Barlet avec Leyla Bouzid à propos de A peine j'ouvre les yeux

En sortie dans les salles françaises le 23 décembre 2015, A peine j'ouvre les yeux est un événement : la révélation d'une jeune cinéaste tunisienne et un film d'une grande pertinence. Cet entretien qui porte notamment sur le geste de cinéma permet d'en mesurer la dimension. LIRE l’article en intégralité sur http://www.africultures.com/php/index.php?nav=article&no=13368

Published on the African Women in Cinema Blog in partnership with Africultures | Publié sur l'African Women in Cinema Blog en partenariat avec Africultures

01 January 2016

2016 Polyglot



Bonne Année

Dun titun ọdún

Feliz Ano Novo

Feliz Año Nuevo

Glückliches neues Jahr

Happy New Year

Heri ya mwaka mpya

Obi ụtọ na afọ ọhụrụ

etc..