All the Cities of the North
Two men walk out of the desert. No, it’s not the start of a joke. Having fallen victim to criminals, N. finds himself alone in Tunisia, deserted by the gods. How to reach Europe? He steals a boat and heads out to sea, but the boat sinks. From then on, Ala Eddine Slim’s dialogue-free debut turns into a fable-like, surreal journey through an unknown, empty land. It is never made explicit how natural or supernatural the events are. N. hikes over hills and through woods, finally meeting a man who could be an older version of himself.
The Last of Us could show the Platonic ideal of a journey; the timeless odyssey of the refugee; a last vision as N. dies after the sinking of the boat or a mythical search for all those refugees who didn’t survive the journey. Like Rithy Panh’s search for the missing picture of an immense tragedy in The Missing Picture (2013), Ala Eddine Slim is searching for the missing body.
Programme IFFR 2017
Coming-of-age drama in which a Puerto Rican teen girl is living at her strict grandmother’s house, waiting until she can move to America to be with her mom.