06-24 November 2019

ARAB BLUES

ARAB BLUES

Un Divan à Tunis

European Showcase
Manele Labidi Labbé

France, Tunisia

2019 / 88’ / Hawaii Premiere / French

ARAB BLUES
ARAB BLUES

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, who co-starred with Adam Driver in PATERSON (HIFF 2016), and who's worked with greats like Iranian director 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

Screenings
Saturday 9 14:00 - 15:33Regal Dole Cannery 16
Monday 11 13:00 - 14:33Regal Dole Cannery 16
DirectorManele Labidi Labbé.
CastGolshifteh Farahani, Feryel Chammari, Ramla Ayari, Amen Arbi and Moncef Ajengui.
ScreenplayManele Labidi Labbé.
CinematographerLaurent Brunet.

Jean-Christophe Reymond....Producer

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