The dynamic drama As I Open My Eyes, steeped in splendid music, takes place on the eve of the Jasmine Revolution (2010-2011) in Tunisia.
All hope and optimism is brought together in Farah, an 18-year-old woman with the ambition of becoming a singer. Her youthful willpower and rebellion against both government rules and traditions of the patriarchal culture are symbolic of the generation that set the Arab Spring in motion. Although her parents want her to study medicine, Farah sees things differently: she is enjoying her youth, discovering the nightlife and also love. She is, first and foremost, the impassioned singer in a political rock band.
That cameraman Sébastien Goepfert also provided the camerawork for Golden Palm winner ‘La Vie d’Adèle’ (2013) is evident. Much of AS I OPEN MY EYES was shot hand-held, and moves in very close to the characters and their problems. This lends the drama an intimate dimension even as it symbolizes the government surveillance increasingly focused on Farah and her band during their rise in popularity. This is still Tunisia from before the revolution.
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