As I Open My Eyes
Leyla Bouzid, France, Tunisia, Belgium 2015, 102 min
Leyla Bouzid’s impressive debut film is set in the summer of 2010 on the eve of the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution. Farah is a rebellious 18-year-old teenager. Her overly concerned mother would like her to study medicine, but the undaunted Farah prefers to sing in an underground band. She is in love with the oud player and likes to sing politically provocative songs, such as the film’s title song, As I Open My Eyes. She also drinks beer in public for the first time and shows an interest in sex – developments her mother follows with dismay. When Farah disappears one day, it looks as if she’s off on one of her usual escapades. But is she really?
The narrative, studded with songs, works on several levels. The story of the rebellious Farah refers to the Arab Spring, but the film is also a subtly sketched portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that goes from inflexibility to recognition and acknowledgement.
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