As I Open My Eyes

+ Opening Night
+ Tunisia

Thursday, 9/29 at St. Anthony Main Theatre
7:00 p.m.

Buy tickets >>>
$15 ($12 members, students) or w/festival pass

As I Open My Eyes / على حلًة عيني

Leila Bouzid
narrative feature / drama
102 mins / 2015
Tunisia / France / UAE
Arabic / French with English subtitles
Minnesota Premiere

As I Open My Eyes gives audiences a look at Tunisian youth on the eve of the Jasmine Revolution. Farah (Baya Medhaffar) is a young woman at a crossroads. Her medical-school application has just been accepted, and nothing would please her mother, Hayet (Ghalia Benali), more. But Farah’s passion is for music and her underground band is just beginning to get noticed. Their music blends rock with daring lyrics that have the raw poetry of spoken word. However, when the police are alerted to the band’s subversive performances, they begin to suffer harassment, and when Farah is detained and interrogated, she realizes someone in the band is a snitch. The film captures the disenchantment, fear, and rebellious mood of many young Tunisians before the revolution and offers an alternative representation of political change during the “Arab Spring.”


Indiewire: Venice Review: ‘As I Open My Eyes’ is the Best Fictional Film Yet About the Arab Spring
Variety: Film Review: As I Open My Eyes

Festivals and Awards
*World Premiere, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, 2015
*Official Selection, Venice International Film Festival, Italy, 2015
*Official Selection, Tribeca International Film Festival, New York, USA, 2016
*Seattle International Film Festival, USA, 2016

Leila Bouzid was born in Tunis and went to Paris in 2003 to study French literature at the Sorbonne University and film directing at the Femis School. She made Soubresauts, her thesis film in Tunisia, a few months before the Jasmine Revolution, followed by Zakaria, a film set in the south of France with a non-professional cast. These two short films received a very warm welcome in festivals in France and abroad, playing at more than sixty festivals and receiving a dozen awards. As I Open My Eyes is her first feature.

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