Weldi (Dear Son), 2018, Mohamed Ben Attia © Viennale

Weldi (Dear Son) (2018)

Regie: Mohamed Ben Attia; Darsteller: Mohamed Dhrif, Mouna Mejri, Zakaria Ben Ayed. 104 min
 
Eine tunesische Kleinfamilie: Der Sohn vernachlässigt wegen Migräne die Ausbildung. Der Vater bemüht sich um ihn, doch er entgleitet immer mehr: Plötzlich heißt es, er sei nach Syrien gereist. Weldi beginnt in nachtschwarzen Bildern und steigert sich zur arabischen Elegie, in der sich die Akteure mit jeder Strophe aufs Neue verfehlen. Das von somnambuler Schönheit geprägte Drama liest sich wie ein Kommentar über die prinzipielle Entfremdung der Generationen: Auf welchen sozialen Fundamenten sind heute Lebensstil, Werte und "Glück" gebaut? Koproduziert von den Dardennes. (G. L.)


A nuclear family in Tunisia: worried about the son, who is plagued by migraines and neglects his education. But the more attention the father lavishes on his son, the more the son slips away, until we hear that he has travelled to Syria. Weldi begins in night-black images and transforms into an Arab elegy in which the characters keep missing each other anew with every verse. Co-produced by the Dardenne brothers, Weldi combines a family drama of somnambulistic beauty with an intrinsic, spreading tragedy that ultimately spares no one. What is most puzzling about this film is how the two main characters are interweaved: The more the son fades away the more his father seems to take his place, following his footsteps. Half way through the film, Weldi reaches an almost oneiric quality, using images of mystic landscapes and deserted places. More than in the Jihadist phenomenon, Ben Attia is interested in the question of what is left behind. Weldi reads like a commentary on the fundamental alienation of generations: What are the social foundations that lifestyle, values and "happiness" are built on today? (Gunnar Landsgesell) 

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