You Resemble Me

MOSTRA LONGAS METRAGENS / FILME DE ABERTURA
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QUI • 21H30 | CINEMA SÃO JORGE • SALA MO

Dina Amer
França, Egipto, USA Fic 2021 90’

Após ter sido separada da irmã mais nova, Hasna luta para encontrar a sua identidade, chegando a uma escolha que choca o mundo. A realizadora Dina Amer aborda uma das questões mais sombrias do nosso tempo, a radicalização, e desconstrói-a numa narração íntima sobre família, amor, e pertença. Produzido por Spike Lee e Spike Jonze, este drama é uma história crua sobre traumas culturais e intergeracionais nos subúrbios de Paris.

After being torn apart from her younger sister, Hasna struggles to find her identity, coming to a choice that shocks the world. Director Dina Amer takes on one of the darkest issues of our time, radicalization, and deconstructs it in an intimate narrative about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging. Produced by Spike Lee and Spike Jonze, this drama is an unvernished story of cultural and intergenerational trauma on the outskirts of Paris.

Argumento Screenplay Dina Amer, Omar Mullick
Produção Production Dina Amer, Elizabeth Woodward, Karim Amer
Produção Executiva Executive Production Spike Lee, Spike Jonze
Fotografia Cinematography Omar Mullick
Montagem Editing Keiko Deguchi ACE, Jake Roberts ACE
Música Music Saunder Jurriaans, Danny Bensi
Design de Som Sound Design Carolina Santana, Nicolas Becker, Tom Paul
Com With Lorenza Grimaudo, Ilonna Grimaudo, Mouna Soualam, Sabrina Ouazani, Dina Amer
Distribuidor Distributor WILLA

Estreia Nacional Portuguese Première

Prémios Awards
Estreia mundial, nomeado para o prémio Giornate degli Autori, La Biennale di Venezia, Itália
E mais de 20 prémios em… Alemanha, Arábia Saudita, Espanha, EUA, Grécia, Índia, Luxemburgo, Países Baixos, República Checa
Festivais Festivals
Festivais Festivals
São Paulo IFF, Brasil | Mena FF, Vancouver, Canadá | Tallinn Black Nights FF, Estónia | Maryland FF, EUA | Thessaloniki Documentary FF, Grécia | Dublin IFF, Irlanda | Stockholm IFF, Suécia | Human Rights Watch FF

WEBSITE FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM PRESSKIT

Nota da Realizadora Director’s  Statement
This project was born out of pure intention. As a Muslim woman living in the West, I’ve had to reconcile seemingly disparate pieces of my identity: what does it look like to be a woman jostling modernity, tradition, faith and sexuality when you receive different messaging in the globalized world we inhabit today? I was left with no choice but to try to understand how youth who share my identity chose violence as a means to justice and purpose. Their failure to reconcile a Muslim Western identity ends in a haunting headline. I’m originally Morroccan on my Father’s side and so I have a very direct connection to Hasna in our lineage. We’re both a production of an Arab and Western hybrid, a result of the intertwining of those two histories. I’ve seen first hand through my life how my identity as an Arab Westerner is a threat to the world. I’ve made it my life’s mission to understand why some people with my identity have failed to find identity and purpose and a sense of home within themselves and in the West. For me, this is a global story but the specificity of YOU RESEMBLE ME is that it’s a French story. This wound is rooted in France but vibrates throughout the entire world. As a Muslim, my rage was directed towards individuals, like Hasna, who took a seed of faith which grounds me into peace and perverted it as a justification for violence. Islam, a faith meant to bring peace, is used to wreak mayhem and carnage. It was not until I spent six months with incarcerated men at Rikers Prison doing a cinema and theater exchange, that I realized I can’t define people by the worst thing they have ever done, and every soul is worthy of redemption — even those Muslims who committed crimes too painful and close for me to look past. I spent the first decade of my career as a journalist working for CNN, The New York Times, PBS and Vice News. I was reporting on the scene at Saint Denis during the police raid that ended Hasna’s life, and heard that explosion go off. The police falsely reported to the media that a female suicide bomber had set off the explosion in the apartment. I reported live, just like every other media outlet, that Hasna was the “first female suicide bomber in Europe”. She became front-page news all over the world, only for the police to retract their statement shortly after. But the damage was done, the fear of a female suicide bomber was in the air. I witnessed first hand the fear and hysteria of veiled women and the community at large of France’s formerly colonized, who knew their safety in an already racist country which deprives them of equal opportunities, would only deteriorate. It was clear that France’s dreams of “La Vie Ensemble” or “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” were shattered. I knocked on Hasna’s mother’s door. She had turned away every single camera, except mine. Quite frankly, I believe it was because I reminded her of the daughter she had abandoned. I was the only female Arab Muslim woman who came with compassion and yearning to understand, because the health of my identity depended on it. Spike Lee, my professor at NYU Tisch, wisely advised me to leave my Masters program and focus on this film. I spent over three years filming with the family of Hasna, a woman called “Europe’s first female suicide bomber” and realized there was a unique opportunity to tell this story of terror through a female perspective and through the lens of something that is a universal, a dysfunctional family. I went to the morgue and visited Hasna when her family saw her body for the first time. I understood that there was a huge cultural wedge between the White French Parisian forensic doctors and this Arab French family. Both sides were in mourning, except Hasna’s family was not allowed to mourn in public; they were left ashamed and undone with blood on their hands, asking what they could have done to keep her from this fate? They are the witnesses to her story and their testimonies — in which they try to understand who is to blame and point the fingers back at themselves — is threaded through the film like a chorus to a Greek Tragedy. Because Hasna is not alive, I felt that intimacy and direct experience of her childhood and her adult life up till the point of her viral death was important. There is a saying “if you knew everyone’s story you would fall in love with them.” That’s what direct intimacy does. I wanted an audience to see themselves in the other that is deemed inhumane, to understand through direct experience how “a monster is made.” On a global level, we are reckoning with the sins and crimes of the past to understand how we arrived at this present moment. In France, and the whole world, a colonial revision is necessary to reframe the story of terror and how the West is culpable. Today, America and other former empires are flogging themselves for their original sins. Yet, the things we have not begun to talk about in this moment are the sins that these countries are committing in the present moment, which have happened in our lifetime, with our tax dollars: the War on Terror. On a more personal level, this film is a continuation of my most beloved and prized film of all time — THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS. I get chills when I revisit the scenes of the attacks happening at the hands of the Algerian resistance fighters in the film, whether it be the bombs planted by women going off in the restaurant and dance hall or the truck mowing down white French colonizers. For me, it’s blatantly clear that the modern day attacks in Paris are a continuation of that colonial fight, now emboldened with a pseudo Islamic resolve. I felt compelled to make this film because this story runs through my veins. It is very important to me that this film be first experienced by a French audience because what is happening in the country right now truly breaks my heart. If this film can offer any healing, any positive discourse, a more humane way forward, and bridge the divide, I will feel like I’ve done something meaningful with my life. This film is my offering. I spent more than 5 years on the ground with Hasna’s family and the fiction script is written from that experience to make it as authentic as possible. YOU RESEMBLE ME is an urgent film that speaks to our current and universal shared reality. It’s a story that looks at what can happen when people are pushed into difficult circumstances, which is increasingly a reality for many in the fragile times we are living through. It’s a story that deconstructs news narratives into a human lens of understanding and direct experience. It’s a story about a woman who is radicalized into terror — a narrative we never get access into and is always overshadowed by the story of a male perspective. In some ways it is the real life JOKER, or CAPERNAUM, or DO THE RIGHT THING, or REDS of our times. At least that is my intention. I know from my experience within these communities that there are so many Hasna’s out there who are desperately looking for family, direction, and love in all the wrong places. Sadly, most of these souls only become known to us through the headlines. As a recovering journalist, I know too well how the news medium is sensationalized, at times fictitious, and — despairingly — a source of inspiration for other violent attacks. We need to find a better way to talk about violence in our communities and I believe film is the way.

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