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Thibaut Grégoire

After a first feature-length feature film - Le Challat de Tunis , selected at ACID in 2014 - Kaouther Ben Hania returns to the documentary and proposes a definitive version of what was in fact a work in the short court: filming episodic, Spread over six years, of the history of his family members.

She follows a single mother from Tunis who decides to remarry and move to Canada to join her new husband and form a stepfamily with her two children and her husband's daughter. The film adopts the point of view of Zaineb, the Tunisian girl who accepts, at first, rather badly the rapprochement of her mother with another man and the prospect of changing country.

Kaouther Ben Hania films the creation of this family and the feeling of everyone - especially that of the children - in episodes, usually separated from ellipses by a year and a half. This feature brings a particular dimension to the documentary and gives the viewer the impression of sharing the lives of the people filmed, much like he might have the impression of sharing the characters of fictional films spread over the length - for example, Boyhood Or La Vie d'Adele .

Yet the film is rather brief, but the link is created, beyond what it could generate as reflections on the change of culture, the place of religion, etc. These problems are there but never encroach on the human side, the whole forming a homogeneous whole.

After a first feature-length feature film – Le Challat de Tunis , selected at ACID in 2014 – Kaouther Ben Hania returns to the documentary and proposes a definitive version of what was in fact a work in the short court: filming episodic, Spread over six years, of the history of his family members.

She follows a single mother from Tunis who decides to remarry and move to Canada to join her new husband and form a stepfamily with her two children and her husband’s daughter. The film adopts the point of view of Zaineb, the Tunisian girl who accepts, at first, rather badly the rapprochement of her mother with another man and the prospect of changing country.

Kaouther Ben Hania films the creation of this family and the feeling of everyone – especially that of the children – in episodes, usually separated from ellipses by a year and a half. This feature brings a particular dimension to the documentary and gives the viewer the impression of sharing the lives of the people filmed, much like he might have the impression of sharing the characters of fictional films spread over the length – for example, Boyhood Or La Vie d’Adele .

Yet the film is rather brief, but the link is created, beyond what it could generate as reflections on the change of culture, the place of religion, etc. These problems are there but never encroach on the human side, the whole forming a homogeneous whole.

The director does not fail to break the fourth wall several times, to remind us that we are in a documentary, that the people we see evolve exist. And this approach finds its apogee in the very last scene, in which the speakers take the place of the spectator and discover, for the first time, the film that we have just seen. If the process has already been used in other documentaries, it always creates a kind of vertigo, a moment when the film is split and communicates with the real.

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