Samia is from Tunisia and has arrived in France illegally, barely surviving the journey across the Mediterranean. Yet arriving in a new society hardly means an end to obstacles: How do you lose your status as a foreign body?
Samia makes friends with Imed, who she knows from her home country. At first glance, he seems to have made it: he works in a bar without papers, has a flat and friends. She stays with him but soon realises that he and his social circle will not permit self-determination on her part. She decides to move on and manages to get Mme Berteau, a bourgeois widow, to employ her as a maid. Flat, clothes, residence permit – Samia now gets it all. The two women grow closer, while Samia's relationship with Imed cools. He represents the life she left behind. But then Mme Berteau and Imed take a liking to each other.
Within the web of attraction and dependency that develops between the three characters, the camera always keeps close to Samia, making tangible just how urgently she seeks to take her fate in her own hands. Jassad gharib is the portrait of a determined young woman looking to live in freedom.
Tunisia / France 2016
97’ · Colour
Hiam Abbass (Leila)Sarra Hannachi (Samia)Salim Kechiouche (Imed)Marc Brunet (Jacques)
Born in 1971 in Tunis, Tunisia. She studied at the film school La Fémis in Paris.Filmography
1998 Avril; 30 min. 2001 Un soir de juillet; 20 min. 2002 Satin rouge (Red Satin); 89 min., Berlinale Forum 2002 2004 Les traces de l’oubli (Seekers of Oblivion); 52 min. 2009 Dowaha (Buried Secrets); 91 min. 2014 Printemps Tunisien (Tunisian Spring); 93 min. 2017 Jassad gharib (Foreign Body)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017
Mon Voisin Productions