International Diaspora Film Festival

Film Screenings - 2009

Saturday 7 November, 5:00 PM


Souad El-Bouhati
France/Morocco, 2008, 74 min.
In Arabic and French with English subtitles
Featuring: Hafsia Herzi, Leila Bekhti, Farida Khelfa, Maher Kamoun

Winner, Muhr Award for Best Actress: Hafsia Herzi, Dubai International Film Festival 2008
Winner, Lions Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2009
Winner, European Film Promotion's Shooting Stars: Hafsia Herzi, 59th Berlinale2009

After relocating to Morocco, a girl longs for her home in France.

Acclaimed director Souad El-Bouhati's debut feature presents the coming of age tale of Sophia (C├ęsar Award-winner Hafsia Herzi), the middle daughter of a Moroccan family living in a French suburb. When her father suddenly finds himself out of work, the family must return to their homeland. This transition is most difficult for Sophia who, on the verge of adolescence, is now feeling her parents' pressure to conform to the social customs of an unfamiliar land. The film fast-forwards to a precocious, questioning and headstrong university student, who rebels against Moroccan tradition and becomes consumed by an overwhelming desire to return to her beloved France.

A mirror of contemporary hybrid identity, Francaise explores issues of origin, dislocation and cultural contradiction.

Director's Biography:
Souad El-Bouhati

Souad El-Bouhati was born in 1962 in Rabah, Morocco, and was only two weeks old when her family moved to France. She was a social worker for the first ten years of her career, and later completed a degree in film direction at Sorbonne in Paris. She began assisting directors and scriptwriters shortly after and, in 1999, directed her first short film, Salam. Francaise picks up on the theme of immigration explored in Salam, and marks Bouhati's directorial debut as a feature filmmaker.

Venue: Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.,
Toronto M5S 1J5 (off St. George St., one block south of Bloor, Subway St. George)
$10 / $8 students and seniors