The fan­ta­sies and mu­ta­tions of young Sy­rian girl just be­fore the bomb rain. Gaya Ji­ji’s first mo­vie, « Mon tis­su pré­ré­ré» des­tructs one by one eve­ry cli­ché of the Arab ci­ne­ma.

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The sto­ry takes place in Da­mas in 2011, right be­fore the ci­vil war. The di­rec­tor is a young Sy­rian wo­man for­med in France and win­ner of the 2016 Wo­men in Mo­tion Prize. The cas­ting is 80% fe­mi­nine, and lead by the gor­geous Ma­nal Is­sa playing Nah­la. It’s hard not do re­make the mo­vie in one’s head which such an af­fluence of conver­ging si­gns and thanks for the conscience whi­te­ning re­gar­ding the most hor­rible and bad­ly un­ders­tood conflict of the area. But Mon tis­su pré­ré­ré isn’t that mo­vie. The space gi­ven to the real is mi­ni­mi­zed to «sto­len» images from You­tube sho­wing Da­mas be­fore and af­ter the bom­bing by the prag­ma­ti­cal and ins­pi­red di­rec­tor, the rest, dia­me­tri­cal­ly op­po­sed is pu­re­ly men­tal. That of an in­ner war roa­ring lou­der that the one out­side, a war of one­self against one­self, ne­ces­sa­ry to the trans­for­ma­tion- er­ra­tic and dan­ge­rous- from a girl to a wo­man. Nah­la is no­thing like the mar­tyr cha­rac­ter vo­wed to give us a les­son trough tears, nei­ther is she the re­sis­tant he­roin ca­li­be­red for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: she is a mys­te­ry, a end­less pit of contra­dic­tions, a constant­ly re­de­fi­ned uni­verse (sexual­ly, sen­ti­men­tal­ly, mo­ral­ly). Witch and prey at the same time, fra­gile and mean, yet she be­lieves in the char­ming prince but al­rea­dy loves sca­ring the men ap­proa­ching her. It’s her dreams that make it ci­ne­ma, sha­king our per­cep­tions and re­mo­de­ling the world at its frag­men­ted image. « We al­ways ex­pect the same mo­vie from Middle-East di­rec­tors, it re­volts me and I wan­ted to des­troy that idea» Gaya Ji­ji told us. It’s al­so what we se­cret­ly ho­ped for.

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