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publié le
19/04/2007
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Emergence of the word
Junun, by Fadhel Jaibi (Tunisia)

The strange universes and the more upsetting situations are the features, which always marked the world of Fadhel Jaibi, director of Junun (Demancia). This film, designed in first by Fadhel Jaibi in theatrical part, was adapted to the cinema in an approach and a language with the image of the creative "madness" of its director. From the beginning, the camera throws us full whip in the heart of the intrigue and its obsessions: madness, violence, psychic tear and power inherent in the language. From a large plan on the eyes of "Nun" (Mohamed Ali Ben Jomaa), the camera passes to its mouth at a meeting with its psychatrist (Jalila Baccar) who reveals all the intensity of the violence interiorized in his unconscious and expressed by his words "I must kill, to cut the throat of, cross, strangle, burn,… I hate myself and I hate the women, these demons,… it is what my father has to inculcate to me and learned", and by its incapacity to control the acts of his hands "it's not me which want to kill; it is him; it's the voice which lives me… my hand wants to burst my eyes". The character, diagnosed schizophrenic, lost any "normal" contact with the external world. He suffers from a family and social rejection the purpose of which is to only get rid of him of interning it in a psychiatric asylum. "Nun", this young illiterate, underwent, from its childhood, all the forms of violence due to a Moslem father practising and castrator, but paradoxically, alcoholic. This father managed only to found a family of patients and the marginal ones (former prisoners, pimp, prostitutes,…). And although he died, there remains always omnipresent throughout the film, through a photograph fixed on the wall of the house and through the references of "Nun", each time he evokes his past. These violences are also due to an oppressive society (center of rectification, military service, prison…). The Against field presents the psychologist who, contrary to all the other characters who are always frustrated, appears smiling and serene. Actually, she is in their image, victim of a tearing hidden in the "heart" of its situation of divorced woman who stuck to her patient. She is also in conflict with the two archaic institutions which are the family of "Nun" and the psychiatric institution. She is revolted by their incapacity to seize the human side of her patient and to adapt the therapeutic methods to this situation. They are in fact, institutions of control, punishment and consequently, of repression. The two principal protagonists of this film do not have anything common, "Nun" is fixed to his past whereas the psychiatrist is leaning on her present and her future, except the desire for fighting against fate and castration; and that by the only capacity of the words. In this course, the realizer conceived the form of speech, of violent dialogue soaked with words raw and obscenes, of metaphors and allegories questioning all the patriarchal forms, religious and political capacity. It asserts the search of freedom; thus "Nun" who at the beginning of the film questioned and doubted "who am I? … I am nothing", ends up affirming with his psychiatrist at the end of the film "I loved you and I hated you, like my father….now, I want to live upright". All this tragedy, this evil of living, this individual and social disenchantment, proceeds in a very purified decoration and minimalist, and in sordid and sinister places (Underground); this decoration suggests the share of its pallet of colors greyish which attest of a great sensitivity to the visual art. Thus, the space of the "private clinic" can evoke only death. It only remains a strange tree (metaphor of the life) planted in the medium and defying any desolation. The blue and red walls return only to all that is pathetic and sepulchral. Roofs are located in except field, just as the sky which appears only at the end and one crucial time of the events: release to be it and "the emergence of the word" (according to the author). It is the essential matter of the film, beyond the approach purely medical of the schizophrenia and the metamorphosis of the relation between the characters. Vintages or poetic, emanating from an analphabete, a procurer or a poet, the gushing of the word and the immersion of the logos make fear. For that, the capacity, in all its forms, seeks to choke it. It is by the force of the words that the world was creates (mythology), but it is as through the words as one can alienate the consciences (media, sermons,…). This the words are the expression of the life like says it the Tunisian poet Menaouer Smadeh through the voice of "Nun": "speaks, suffers and dies in the words". Menaouer Smadeh, utopian poet, spent his last days in a psychiatric asylum.
Junun is a poignant film, which releases much emotion and sensitivity. It explores the humanity of the beings through their feelings of love and hatred, while challenging the spectators by his approach of violence, exclusion, the thirst for freedom and the hand put of the power patriarchal, religious and institutional, on the individual. So many questions raised without Manichaeism and kindnesses. The well tied up scenario is emphasized by very convincing actors. One can release, through a certain theatricalness of the space and a purification of the decorations, references with certain minimalists works, such as "Dogville" of Lars van Trier. The whole put in scene by a radical author, provocative, denouncer of any alienating capacity and who works for a cinema which clamps and magnifies life. He fights to break the taboo of "nonknown as" while acclaiming with "filmic" voice: "schizophrenia is only social".

Hassen Euchi

JUNUN was nominee at Fribourg Film Festival (Switzerland) where Hassen Euchi was Critics Jury member.

> This review already published on Fipresci website.

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   liens films

Junun (Démences) 2006
Fadhel Jaïbi


   liens artistes

Baccar Jalila


Jaïbi Fadhel


   liens structures

Fipresci
Allemagne | MUNICH

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