Tunisian film ‘Making of’ clears ambiguity about extremism

Poster of the film ‘Making of’.

Islamabad – Tunisian Embassy in collaboration with Ministry of Culture arranged an internationally renowned film “Making Of” at PNCA on Saturday night which earned a deep appreciation by foreign diplomats and Pakistani viewers. The film was screened to mark the 23rd anniversary of the change in Tunisia which ushered in a new era of development and modernization under the dynamic leadership of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The Tunisian Ambassador Mourad Bourehla greeted the guests including several ambassadors and senior diplomats from friendly countries as well as Pakistanis.

The film “Making of” is directed by well known Tunisian film-maker Nouri Bouzid. It is one of the most awarded Tunisian films. The film depicts the most critical subject of suicide bombing and explains circumstances that lead one to desperation and ultimately towards extremism.

The film carries a message “Terrorists aren’t born. They are made.”

The title of the film ‘Making of’ depicts the making of a martyr, the making of a man and the making of a film. It deals with complex themes of martyrdom, murder, manhood and suicide.

In the movie, Bouzid expressed the desperation of youth with regard to economic and social level of the society and showed how such level prepares the ground for extremist groups to recruit and indoctrinate the young minds by spreading fundamentalist ideas.

The central character in the film Bahta, 25 years old Tunisian is an angry young man who excels at break-dancing. On perceiving ‘Western insults to Islam’, he decides to stay out of home and takes refuge with an elderly man, a teacher (a tombstone calligrapher) who slowly bring him towards the promise of martyrdom.
Bahta gets confused when his respected teacher starts indoctrinating him with a notion of Islam which is entirely different from the version he hears from his western producer, with whom Bahta is working on a film representing Islam as a religion of peace.

As the film progresses, it becomes obvious that not any single but all components are equally responsible for inclination towards extremist acts which include family structure, rigid social structures, the education system. However this film shows that the process of brainwashing is not always successful and the number of those who refuse to become members of fundamental groups is twenty time higher.

“Making of” offered one of the most original approach by Arab cinema to the issue of fundamentalism with the technique of usage of a film within the film.

Published in Pakistan Observer (28 Nov. 2010)

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