France / Dulac Distribution unveils three films

The French company Dulac Distribution is preparing to release three feature films which show families and individuals confronted with the social and political situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

Dulac Distribution

Scheduled for release on November 2nd, Lotfy Nathan’s film Harka follows Ali, a young Tunisian who dreams of a better life. He leads a solitary existence, selling contraband gasoline on the black market. When his father dies, he has to take care of his two younger sisters, left to fend for themselves in a house from which they will soon be evicted. Faced with this sudden responsibility and a string of injustices, Ali feels the anger and revolt of a generation which, more than ten years after the revolution, is still trying to make itself heard…

In Arabic, Lotfy Nathan explains, harka means “burn”. It is also Tunisian slang for people who cross the Mediterranean illegally. In the film he questions the place of young Tunisians who in 2011 rose up against their government. While making a film “imbued with the unique spirit of Tunisia”, the director wants to show the feeling of anger and revolt “common to many countries”. The main actor, Adam Bessa, won Best Actor Award in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.

Harka, teaser

Dulac Distribution’s second offering is Mediterranean Fever by Israeli-Palestinian director Maha Haj, due for release on December 14th. After her first film, Personal Affairs (2016), about Palestinian identity, she has chosen “to address the issue of depression as experienced by the individual, not at the level of society” through the character of Walid, a Palestinian in his forties. “This Mediterranean fever,” she explains, “affects some people in the region […]. It’s a reflection of other, more obvious evils: political, social, and psychological.” Also presented at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard selection, the film won the Best Screenplay Award.

Mediterranean Fever, teaser

Finally, Michale Boganim’s Tel Aviv – Beirut will be released in French cinemas on February 1st 2023. By following two families, one Lebanese and the other Israeli, the director confronts the socio-political complexities of the Israeli-Lebanese war. Her filmlooks at the Tsadals – those Lebanese who fought alongside the Israeli army and were forced to flee their country when the Israelis withdrew in 2000.

Sources: Dulac Distribution, Box Office Pro, Tel Aviv-Beyrouth

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