Tunis, November 2019. A group of women has assembled in a hair salon on the eve of the presidential election. The beauty shop is transformed into a public space that mirrors the inner unrest of the country at large.
Three Questions for the Director
1. Short Film has a unique way of telling stories and exploring themes. What is it that fascinates you about the short format?
Sarra El Abed: There is definitely more freedom in the short format. In terms of creation and subject there are lot less boundaries then in features and longer format. There is a possibility to really have fun with the medium and tackle stories and subjects that don’t necessarily work in the longer format.
2. The program your film is selected for is called “Framing Realities”: What connection do you see between your film and that title?
Sarra El Abed: It’s funny because when thinking of the film and trying to figure out the cinematography, I was really drawn by certain photographs. We tried to create images that could look or be frames. So there is something quite interesting with this title because it as if we captured photograph within the reality of the salon. Also, since the film is a huis clos, we kind of locked the viewer into the reality of these women. In lots of ways I feel that this title is really accurate with the project.
3. What film has inspried you most to make films yourself and what part of it do you see in your own work?
Sarra El Abed: There isn’t one in particular, but I am inspired by lots of filmmakers whom I try to nod at in my project. Agnes Varda is a huge inspiration for me, especially her film Uncle Yanco. I like how she plays with cinema and it’s something I try to do in my own work. In many ways, my last film was inspired by her work; the colors, the end credits, the cinematography. There is also Pedro Almodovar whom I am obsessed with. The way he mixes drama and comedy, how intense his work is, how rich his characters are. All his female protagonist are so well-written, with the women in my film, I could see lots of connexion with his work. There is also Rainer Fassbinder and Noah Baumbach, but maybe less for this last project.
Screenplay: Sarra El Abed
Director of Photography: Catherine Lefebvre
Score: Ilya Ghafouri
Producer: Isabelle Grignon-Francke
Director: Sarra El Abed
Editor: Jordan Choinière
Sound Design: Ilya Ghafouri
Sound Mixing: Ilya Ghafouri
Sound Editing: Ilya Ghafouri