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El Gort

2014 DOK Leipzig, Doc Young Cinema Competition, Healthy Workplaces Film Award
Tunisia, United Arab Emirates | 2013 | 87 min. | Arabic | English subtitles | German Premiere
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El Gort | El Gort

This film vibrates with rage. Nothing was good, is good, will be good. This bitter truth surrounds the lives of Washwasha and Khairi like a wall. Both in their early 20s, dirt poor, no expectations of ever doing anything other than stacking, loading and unloading bales of hay for little money. Jobs? There are none in Tunisia. So they want to leave, go to Europe. But that, too, is only a dream.
“El Gort” traces the years from before the rebellion against Ben Ali to the first free elections, 2007 to 2012. But these events have no real meaning for the two of them. Washwasha was in prison during the revolution, Khairi went pillaging like most of the other residents of the city. Somehow the anger had to be vented. Nothing has changed except for the personnel, who cheat the poor exactly like the old regime. And the Islamic parties? F*** them!
The film translates this rage into a rough, immediate visual language that gives the narrative incredible momentum. Hard, rapid cuts, a restless, moving camera, no shot lingers over the beauty of the moment. Instead there’s a maximum of life which must be lived on and on. And that is the really amazing aspect of this first feature-length film by Hamza Ouni: its protagonists lucidly describe their situation without shirking responsibility for their actions.
Matthias Heeder
Original Title: El Gort
Country: Tunisia, United Arab Emirates
Year: 2013
Language: Arabic
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 87 min.
Format: Beta DIGITAL (PAL)
Color: Colour
Director: Hamza Ouni
Producer: Hamza Ouni
Cinematographer: Mohamed Hakim Boujomaa, Hatem Nechi
Editor: Najwa Khechimi
Sound: Hassen Najar
Hamza Ouni
Mhamdia Productions

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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.