Berlinale: Programme


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Panorama

La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi

The Virgin, The Copts And Me

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Namir’s mother is a Coptic Christian. She is convinced that she can see an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a video tape originating from her home in Egypt. Her son, who has been raised in a secular environment in France, decides to make a film about the phenomenon and travels to Egypt to visit his relatives. Hoping to understand the connection between appearances of the Virgin to the Copt minority and recent events in Egyptian history he soon discovers plenty of obstacles. Firstly there are his parents who interfere in the film and criticise his ideas; then there’s his French producer who wants to change the film every few weeks and finally, the inhabitants of his family’s Coptic village. Desperate, Namir decides to create his own version of the Virgin Mary’s appearance. To realise his plan he will need to enlist the aid of the villagers and his mother; the latter soon joins him in Egypt and proves to be remarkably capable.
A humorous fictional documentary and family-drama-cum-culture-clash about religion in the diaspora, the art of cinema and the boundless creativity of the filmmakers. Making good use of his mother as the film’s wonderful main protagonist, this directorial debut charmingly and wittily exposes the manipulative aspects of documentary filmmaking.

France / Qatar / Egypt 2012, 85 min

by

Namir Abdel Messeeh

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