Arab Blues (Un Divan à Tunis)

February 26, 2020

Manele Labidi Labbe’s debut feature film tackles the themes of independence, community, traditional culture, and new beginnings. It is a comedy with a bit of a bite. After 10 years in Paris, Selma returns to Tunis to open a psychotherapy service on the roof of her extended family’s apartment building. In a culture where such therapy is unknown, unwelcome, and even haram (forbidden) when the therapist is a young woman, Selma has her problems. These are a less than welcoming family, which includes an alcoholic uncle, an angry aunt, and a rebellious cousin, an initially skeptical and resistant community, eventually patients with problems you wouldn’t believe, and a large local flic (cop) who has his eyes on Selma but not in a particularly kind way.

Freud in a fez might be a hard image to process but Arab Blues does a great job getting to grips with a woman, a country and a region that are all struggling to find their feet and follow new pathways

Arab Blues is a refreshing and entertaining comedy that illustrates how integral humour is in Tunisian culture.” Sarah Clements, Exclaim!

France, Tunisia
French/Arabic with English subtitles
Rated: Not Rated
88 minutes
4 - 5:28 & 7 - 8:28

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