The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

15 January 2013

"Même Pas Mal" (No Harm Done): Nadia El Fani's Double Combat


Même Pas Mal (No Harm Done) a film by Nadia El Fani and Alina Isabel Pérez (2012). From Nadia El Fani Wordpress, 14 January 2013.

Nadia El Fani's double combat: against Islamists and against her cancer. A film about freedom of expression, about the artistic, creative and political struggles which in countries faced with obscurantist tendencies are necessary more than ever. A film to illustrate the timeless adage of Victor Hugo: "those who live are those who fight".

I was not always "big-mouthed"...As a child I was rather timid.

My fighting spirit evolved indeed from my family historyit is not a trivial matter to be the daughter of communistsbut also from my deep need, or rather desire, for freedom. I think my films have always spoken about it: FREEDOM.

When I went to film LAÏCITE, INCHALLAH / SECURALISM INCH'ALLAH in August 2010, it was with my rebellious spirit and the idea that it was time for me to assume my voluntary exile in France. Even if it meant to never be able to return to Tunisia. I decided to attack head on Ben Ali's dictatorial regime that exploited religion, but also to denounce the social hypocrisy surrounding religion, and which (already!) pervaded the daily life of Tunisians.

I was not aware that the revolution was brewing in Tunisia at the same that a cancer was developing in my body. The two matured almost simultaneously. The revolution brought me out of my torpor and gave me even more strength to fight. During this time, the Islamists and their violence had in store for me a metastasis that I had not detected.

Fortunately, faced with adversity I was not alone.

In this film that I co-direct with Alina Isabel Pérez, I put aside my modesty, which was necessary because the fight against obscurantists also involves denouncing their inhuman methods, as a reminder of the worse moments of the Ben Ali dictatorship.

Why make a film to talk about the consequences of a film? It is to say, once again, that "those who live are those who fight".

Nadia El Fani

Translated from French by Beti Ellerson