Previously at the ICA - Films
11 Oct 2016
BFI Film Festival: 245 features. 74 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Deserving winner of the Best Actor and Best First Feature prizes at this year’s Berlinale, Mohamed Ben Attia’s simple yet richly resonant film is named after its young Tunisian protagonist, a car salesman about to embark on a marriage arranged by his mother. But when Hedi (Majd Mastoura) is sent by his likewise domineering boss to solicit sales in another town, he encounters and is drawn to Rim, a tourist guide and entertainer at his hotel whose free-spirited confidence is worlds away from his bride-to-be’s conventional modesty – and indeed from his own listless passivity. Freedom beckons, but the wedding is just days away…
Succeeding both as a persuasively naturalistic account of a fraught personal dilemma and as a lightly handled metaphor for Tunisia itself, torn between tradition and modernity as it struggles with economic problems, this extremely fine debut heralds a writer-director to watch.
(Notes by Geoff Andrew)
Hedi (Inhebbek Hedi), dir. Mohamed Ben Attia, Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar/United Arab Emirates 2016, 89 mins.