In an exclusive interview with Poronews, the Tunisian director Gouthar Ben Hania tells the most important stations of the film “Panat Intimacy”, shown in the official competition of the “Cannes” film festival, and explains the shooting conditions that allowed the actresses. Express freely, in a safe environment.
Tunisian director Gouthar Ben Hania’s film “Banat Intimacy” competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and sparked the interest of everyone present at the official competition screening.
Ben Hania told Euronews: I was very happy when they told me that the film was selected in the official competition, especially when I heard names like Ken Loach, Wes Anderson, Wim Winders, I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I am very happy to be here.
The film creates a hybrid between documentary and fiction, and tells the story of Olfa al-Hamrouni, a Tunisian mother whose name became known around the world in 2016, as she reveals her two daughters’ radicalization and her joining the ranks. Following the Jasmine Revolution that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, the Islamic State
“This small story is connected to the big story of Tunisia,” the director explains to Euronews. “I was inspired by the impact this revolution had on the lives of these women, Olfa, the heroine of the film, is leading her own revolution by abandoning her husband and living her life independently.
From the first moments of the film, authentic testimonies are interspersed with others recreated between Olfa, his two daughters and a team of professional actresses, and we see the real Olfa as he directs the actress playing his role. In some scenes, the director is shown asking the actors questions, and we also see excerpts from TV newscasts dealing with the issue. It creates unique scenes created mostly by female actors.
Ben Hania told Euronews: “I wanted to surround myself with a team of women to lure them into intimate confessions. Photography is like a therapeutic laboratory for me, very feminine.” The men on set, I made sure they were friendly and far from masculine.”
Gouthar Ben Hania, the first female director from Tunisia to represent her country at the 2021 Academy Awards with her film “Ala Kauf Afrid”, today wants to win the Palme d’Or.
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