Venice 2022, Roschdy Zem: “My necessary film about family and truth”

The Moroccan-born director and actor competing at the Lido with ‘Les Miens’

“Shooting this film was not a decision, for me it was a necessity. I had never revealed such personal issues in my work.” Word of Roschdy Zem, director and co-star of the film ‘Les Miens’, in competition on the last day of the Venice Film Festival before the awards ceremony scheduled for tomorrow.

The story of the film follows Moussa, who has always been caring, selfless and helpful towards his family, as opposed to his brother Ryad, a successful TV presenter, criticized by relatives and friends for his self-centeredness. The only one to defend him is Moussa, who feels great admiration for him. One day, however, an accidental fall causes Moussa a serious head injury: now unrecognizable, the man speaks without filters revealing brutal truths to his friends and family that are difficult to accept, and ends up arguing with everyone, except Ryad. A film that alternates dramatic moments and comedy. “The film is inspired by a fact that really happened in my family”, underlines the French director of Moroccan origins.

“When the frontal lobe goes to be blessed, real things are said without mediation. And everything happens. The film also talks about this: how far can you go with words, with sincerity? Sometimes sincerity can also destroy a family. For me this film is also a sort of allegory on modern society and on relationships between people and also with the media “, adds the director, who is the TV presenter Ryad in the film. While in the role of the brother changed by the head trauma is Sami Bouajila: “Being able to say everything you think is very liberating”, he laughs. In the cast, the various other members of the large family turned upside down by the accident are Meriem Serbah, Maïwenn, Rachid Bouchareb, Abel Jafrei, Nina Zem, Carl Malapa, Anaïde Rozam, Lila Fernandez, Farida Ouchani.

“Through the portrait of a family, I wanted to share dramas, conflicts, neuroses, pains and even moments of happiness, avoiding cultural or religious distortions, which for me are always too present when it comes to a generation of immigrant origin. The family is a refuge. from which you have to escape, to be able to show yourself how you are. This film is my love story with my people “, concludes the director.