When Sami begins to suffer migraines, his parents’ concern for their withdrawn son increases. Their anguish forms the unnerving backbone of Mohamed Ben Attia’s astute drama.
Dir-Scr Mohamed Ben Attia
Prod Dora Bouchoucha, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Nadim Cheikhrouha
With Mohamed Dhrif, Zakaria Ben Ayed, Imen Cherif
Riadh and Nazli struggle to make ends meet; Nazli works in another city part-time and Riadh will soon retire from his construction job on the Tunis dock. Family life is modest, reserved and entirely centered around their only son Sami, whose final exams are approaching. He suffers migraines which seem to be intensifying. As they do, Riadh resolves to help his increasingly despondent son. But then Sami disappears, leaving a note stating that he has gone to Syria. The most devastating aspect of this family portrait is its understated perceptiveness. By positioning father and son at opposite ends of their life-journeys, the director of Hedi (First Feature Competition, LFF 2016) underlines the dangerous social limbo and lack of opportunity for Tunisian youth.