The curtain fell on Friday evening at the Teatro Espagnol room, on the Mediterranean Film Festival of Tetouan, in the presence of several personalities from the world of politics, the media, the arts and culture.
This major film event, which celebrated its 27th anniversary this year, brought together big names in national, Arab and international cinema, making the city of Tetouan, for a week, the capital of Mediterranean cinema and a space for exchanges and promoting the culture of dialogue and tolerance.
The feature film “Petit corps” by Laura Samani won the Grand Prize for this edition, as well as the critics’ prize “Mustapha Mesnaoui”. The film, an Italian-French-Slovenian co-production, tells the story of young Agata who gives birth, in Italy at the very beginning of the 20th century, to a stillborn baby, condemned to limbo.
Agata hears of a place in the mountains, where infants can be brought back to life for a single breath, to baptize them and save their souls. She embarks on a journey with her daughter’s tiny body hidden in a box and meets Lynx, a lonely boy who offers to help her. They embark on an adventure that will allow them to come close to a miracle.
Religion, superstition, Laura Samani seems to have a particular taste for the subject, her noticed short film from 2016 was already called “La Santa che dorme” (the sleeping saint). The title of her first feature film, “Piccolo Corpo” (Little body) which evokes both the sweetness of the newborn and the horror of a lifeless body, is emblematic of the mixture of styles she adopts to tell the journey of his characters, between verismo and fantasy, a kind of magical realism. She manages to transport the viewer on a disturbing journey that stages the past to better reflect the present.
The conception of the film and its development support this effect of studied simplicity. The natural sets, the lighting by candlelight, the shooting in continuity, the unique costumes with subtle hues, the acting, the dialogues in multiple dialects, everything is mastered, thought out.
Legend, popular tale, Laura Samani plays with myths, codes, she does not leave the spectator the possibility of identifying with the characters. He is immersed in the universe created by the director, the smells, the cold, the heat, the hunger, the fatigue, the fear are almost palpable. A film of feelings.
In the documentary category, the film “Postcard” by Moroccan director Asmaa El Moudir won the 1st Prize, while the film “Pack d’été” by Moroccan Salem Ballal was awarded the prize for first work. , and the film “We” by director Alice Diopa won the special jury prize.
It should also be noted that the jury for the feature film was chaired by the Ivorian director, Jacques Trabi, and made up of the Spanish director and actress Mabel Lozano, the Moroccan novelist and film critic, Mohamed Laroussi, and the painter Moroccan, Mohamed El Baz. The documentary film jury was chaired by director Fanny Aubert Malaurie and the critics jury by director and screenwriter Miguel Angel Parra.