A peine j’ouvre les yeux / As I Open my Eyes

Tunis, 2010. Fresh out of high school, eighteen-year-old Farah is butting
heads with her mother over her all-night, beer-fueled outings with a new
boyfriend and her refusal to enroll at medical school so she can pursue her
dream of singing in a band. All this would be chalked up to growing pains if
the setting were not Tunisia in the last months of the Ben Ali dictatorship and
Farah’s irrepressible thirst for life and justice did not come out in politically
charged concerts that draw the attention of the country’s notoriously corrupt
authorities. As such, Leyla Bouzid’s powerful debut feature is not only a
striking portrait of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, but a deeply
insightful, complex look at life under a repressive political regime, with its
compromises, commitments, and corrosive effects on personal relationships.
While the film does not directly refer to the events of the Tunisian revolution of
December 2010, Farah clearly embodies the spirit of youthful revolt that drove
the Arab Spring. As portrayed by beginner Baya Medhaffar, who performs her
own vocals in several riveting concert sequences, Farah is utterly relatable,
a fragile but seemingly unbreakable young woman as eager for fun as she is
committed to honesty.

DIRECTOR
Leyla Bouzid

SCREENPLAY
Leyla Bouzid & Marie-Sophie
Chambon

CAST
Marwen Soltana
Youssef Soltana
Deena Abdelwahed
Lassaad Jamoussi
Aymen Omrani
Montassar Ayari
Ghalia Benali
Baya Medhaffar

DETAILS
Drama, Musical
Arabic
102 min.
Belgium, France, Tunisia, 2015
Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Kino Lorber

PRICE RANGE
$500