As I Open My Eyes

Leyla Bouzid’s debut feature takes place in Tunisia in 2010, just months before the “Jasmine Revolution”. 18-year-old Farah tries to be a good student and live up to the expectations of her mother, who dreams of a career as a medical doctor for her daughter, but Farah’s passion is for music—she sings in a band. She releases tension by going out at night with her friends and boyfriend, hanging out in bars around Tunis. Leyla’s mother grows more and more concerned about her future and the shifting political climate and tries to convince Farah that a singing career might not really be her calling. Pulsating with vibrant music, As I Open My Eyes is part mother-daughter drama and part feminist commentary on a corrupt reality where women have to watch their backs at all times. In her portrayal of the events leading up to the Arab Spring, Bouzid vividly conveys the cultural, social and political menace posed by the old regime, confronting it with a youthful, energetic, powerful lead character who refuses to give up on her dreams.

Music: Khyam Allami

Awards: Carthage FF - Fipresci Prize, TV5 Award, Dubai IFF - Best Film, Venice IFF - Label Europa Cinemas

  • director: Leyla Bouzid
  • script: Leyla Bouzid, Marie-Sophie Chambon
  • DoP: Sébastien Goepfert
  • cast: Baya Medhaffer, Ghalia Benali, Montassar Ayari, Lassaad Jamoussi, Aymen Omrani
  • duration: 102 min
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Australia, USA & Great Britain/2010