Un divan à Tunis [Arab Blues] (2019)

Un divan à Tunis
Director: Manele Labidi
Writer: Maud Ameline, Manele Labidi
Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Majd Mastoura, Aïsha Ben Miled, Feryel Chammari, Hichem Yacoubi, Najoua Zouhair, Jamel Sassi, Ramla Ayari, Moncef Ajengui
Seen on: 13.8.2020

Content Note: transmisia

Selma (Golshifteh Farahani) decided to move back to Tunis from Paris – much to the incomprehension of most people. Her cousin Olfa (Aïsha Ben Miled) doesn’t understand why she would leave the freedom Paris promises and the rest of Tunis doesn’t understand why she would want to open her practice as a psychotherapist in Tunis. But people flock to her office. She also draws the attention of police officer Naim (Majd Mastoura) who starts harrassing her about a proper licence for her work.

Un divan à Tunis has some nice moments and Farahani is fantastic, but the film relies a little too much on cheap jokes – one of which is pretty transmisic – to actually work.

The film poster showing Selma (Goshifteh Farahani) sitting on the roof floor in front of a couch, next to a picture of Sigmund Freud.
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L’indomptée [Daydreams] (2016)

L’indomptée [literally The (female) Untamed]
Director: Caroline Deruas-Garrel
Writer: Caroline Deruas-Garrel, Maud Ameline
Cast: Clotilde Hesme, Jenna Thiam, Tchéky Karyo, Renato Carpentieri, Pascal Reneric, Marilyne Canto
Seen on: 13.8.2016

Camille (Clotilde Hesme) has devoted the past decade or so to her husband, the writer Marc (Tchéky Karyo). But now it’s her turn – she applies for an artist scholarship at the Villa Medici to finally get started with her own writing career, and is awarded a spot. There she meets Axèle (Jenna Thiam), a young photographer who is also in the program. As tensions between Camille and Marc, who accompanied her, grow, Camille grows more and more fascinated with Axèle and the mystery she poses.

I very much enjoyed L’indomptée. It’s an atmospheric film with great performances that managed to draw me in completely.

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