The making of a martyr, the making of a man, and the making of a film. Bahta is 25, Tunisian, a hothead who excels at break-dancing. When he thinks a woman he likes may be seeing another man, his injured pride mixes with his Arab anger at Western insults to Islam, so he gets in trouble with the cops. For sanctuary, two men take him to the home of an older man, a teacher who is a tombstone calligrapher. The teacher slowly brings Bahta to understand the promise of martyrdom, playing on his desire for manhood. Occasionally, the actor playing Bahta breaks out of his role to complain to the director, who must coax him back. Is Bahta on his way to manhood, suicide, martyrdom, and murder? Written by
1st watched 2/8/2010 8 out of 10 (Dir-Nouri Bouzid): Disturbing and powerful film about a young man enticed by a group that glorifies being a martyr for God by blowing yourself up(preferably others as well). The young man, played by Lofti Abdelli, likes to breakdance but has no real other ambitions. He gets into trouble with the cops occasionally for petty things and just wants to make something out of his life. He'd like to participate in the war in Iraq but can't and occasionally gets punished with lashes from his father when he gets caught for his wrongdoings. He suspects his upscale girlfriend of cheating on him and he just feels a general lack of respect towards him in life. While hiding from the cops after impersonating one after stealing his cousin's clothes(who is a cop) he is taken in by a gentle religious man who initially tries to get him to purify himself from western influences and sin. Out of this teaching it is obvious that he also believes that martydom is the highest form of expression to God, and the young man starts believing this and thinks he's destined for this fate. The film is full of wonderful performances especially from the lead, who gets you to see whats going on inside him and you understand how he's enticed toward this belief. The film takes a couple of sidesteps out of the movie and gives you a glimpse of the actual actor struggling to portray this character due to his opposite real-life beliefs and you see the director trying to convince him to continue and believe in him. This is an interesting addition but seems to just be a way for the director to show his beliefs toward terrorism and seems a little un-necessary. Despite this, the movie is an intense portrayal of this young man and well done throughout and is a good view into a side of life we don't often see on film. Do not miss this one!!
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