Film: Fatwa, dir. Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud, 2018

By |June 15th, 2019|Country: |

A father returns to his homeland of Tunisia to bury his son, only to discover that he had been radicalized prior to his death: a crucial feature from Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud starring singer Gahlia Benali

Fatwa movie poster


Brahim, a man living in France returns to his homeland of Tunisia with the task of burying his son, who had died in a freak accident. But something doesn’t sit right with him. And as Brahim tries to untangle the messy circumstances surrounding the death and the days preceding it, he starts to suspect that prior to his demise his son was radicalized. What follows is a very interesting inquiry into his son’s surroundings, neighborhood and university life, in which Brahim tries to establish, how could a young artist reared up in the Western tradition suddenly end up a Salafi? In addition to the arresting plot, I found the two themes in the film particularly fascinating. First is the relationship between Brahim and his ex-wife, played by the magnificent Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali: the way a westernized muslim who tries to reclaim his faith in full and a staunch atheist who still lives in Tunisia butt heads and try to find reconciliation amidst tragedy. Another thing was the role the community played in this film, bonding together at exactly the right moments to stand their ground. Despite the tragic, complicated themes at the center of the film, the community’s presence made it warm, full of hope and funny.

Fatwa, 2018
Director: Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud

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