Babylon | © Viennale

ALA EDDINE SLIM

Cinema at the Margins
The works of Ala Eddine Slim, born in Sousse, Tunisia, cover different genres: documentary film, video art, or – like his two most recent feature films – sophisticated narrative cinema. He explains that he is interested in a cinema at the margins, an interest that is reflected in the depth of the themes he chooses as well as in his exploration of different styles. In his widely varied work, some leitmotifs recur: the issue of borders, real and imaginary territories, militarization, illegality, loneliness and retreat.

BABYLON documents the effects that the failure of the Arab Spring in Libya in 2012 had on its neighboring country Tunisia. While an international population of displaced persons, reporters and humanitarian aid workers was gathering in a refugee camp, it became more and more urgent to capture this brewing exuberance on film. Shot together with Youssef Chebbi and Ismaël, the film represents a many-voiced venture in terms of content and production, reporting on the beginning of a new phase in the Arab world in a fresh and open way. Stylistically, it is also reminiscent of short films that Slim created for installation spaces. Ala Eddine Slim caused a sensation for the first time in 2016 when he presented his feature film debut THE LAST OF US in Venice. A mysterious and captivating film that plays with the illusion of space and geographical references in which the protagonist either merges with his surroundings or gets lost in them. These elements can also be found in Slim’s most recent work, presented in Cannes’ Quinzaine des Réalisateurs  (Directors Fortnight): TLAMESS (a term that describes a sort of magic) is an allegorical and mysterious journey that transforms the two protagonists. It is also the quintessence of the filmmaker’s cinematic world: a cinema that is constantly metamorphosing yet never loses sight of connections. Slim’s films are atmospheric and rich in setting, powerful and lavish. Their gestures evoke both political realities and cinematic experiences – and a place where reminiscences of masters such as Stanley Kubrick can sometimes be found.

In the presence of Ala Eddine Slim.

 

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Films (Selection):

BABYLON
Ismaël, Youssef Chebbi, Ala Eddine Slim, Tunisia 2012

 

AKHER WAHED FINA
Ala Eddine Slim,Tunisia/Qatar/United Arab Emirates/Lebanon 2016
 

TLAMESS
Ala Eddine Slim, Tunisia/France 2019