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El Gort

Documentary Film
Tunisia,
United Arab Emirates
2013
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hamza Ouni
Hamza Ouni
Mohamed Hakim Boujomaa, Hatem Nechi
Najwa Khechimi
Hassen Najar
This film vibrates with rage. Nothing was good, is good, will be good. This bitter truth surrounds the lives of Washwasha and Khairi like a wall. Both in their early 20s, dirt poor, no expectations of ever doing anything other than stacking, loading and unloading bales of hay for little money. Jobs? There are none in Tunisia. So they want to leave, go to Europe. But that, too, is only a dream.
“El Gort” traces the years from before the rebellion against Ben Ali to the first free elections, 2007 to 2012. But these events have no real meaning for the two of them. Washwasha was in prison during the revolution, Khairi went pillaging like most of the other residents of the city. Somehow the anger had to be vented. Nothing has changed except for the personnel, who cheat the poor exactly like the old regime. And the Islamic parties? F*** them!
The film translates this rage into a rough, immediate visual language that gives the narrative incredible momentum. Hard, rapid cuts, a restless, moving camera, no shot lingers over the beauty of the moment. Instead there’s a maximum of life which must be lived on and on. And that is the really amazing aspect of this first feature-length film by Hamza Ouni: its protagonists lucidly describe their situation without shirking responsibility for their actions.

Matthias Heeder



Talent Dove in the Young Cinema Competition 2014

Forgotten

Documentary Film
Tunisia
2017
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ridha Tlili
Ridha Tlili
Ridha Tlili
Ridha Tlili
Yazid Chebi
The Arab Spring is wintering in Sidi Bouzid. The town in the Tunisian interior seems provincial and insignificant. But at the turn of 2010/2011 the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi and the ensuing protests of hundreds of young people against the arbitrariness of the authorities made it the starting point of a departure that was to challenge a number of autocracies in the Arab world. Chafi, Ferid, Abdelhak and Boujdik are four young men who went out into the streets at the time, full of hope. Two years later they find themselves caught in a daily struggle between irrepressible energy and unbearably motionless, repressive “normalisation”. Ridha Tlili followed them with his camera from 2013 to 2016 to paint a very sympathetic portrait of his protagonists. The film reveals their human and philosophical depth in the midst of bleakness, their dreams and sense of humour: “Broke but well dressed!” The group fight against getting worn down by unemployment, against the slow suffocation of the revolution and the obstructions to a normal relationship with women. They found a theatre group, make music and organise political actions in the streets. Philosophising and making youthful jokes, the four are wintering in their backrooms, in the grocery store and on walks through the Wadi landscape outside the city.

André Eckardt


Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"