As I Open My Eyes

Leyla Bouzid

PLEASE NOTE: This film will be screened with DUTCH subtitles.

Tunis, summer of 2010: the insurgency against dictator Ben Ali is smouldering. Eighteen-year-old Farah sings in a popular underground band, but her mother is worried. Leyla Bouzid's vibrant feature film debut was received at festivals as one of the best films about the Arab Spring.

Farah has just finished high school and is discovering life as the rebellious female vocalist of a band that plays a blend of rock and traditional Arabic music. Farah sings in shady night bars, drinks beer, falls in love, and does not shy away from singing politically charged lyrics that take potshots at the regime. Small wonder that her mother is worried: why won’t her wild daughter just go to medical school instead?

As I Open My Eyes is a vibrant coming of age story and portrait of a generation at the dawn of the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution. For a brief moment, it seemed the door was about to open for Arab youths who embraced a modern, democratic lifestyle. Headstrong Farah is determined to slip through that door, no matter the consequences.


Leyla Bouzid
Belgium, France, Tunisia
102 minutes
arts & literature, children and youth, police & security forces, politics & democracy