After its premiere at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival last October, A Man of Honour by Jean-Claude Codsi is now out in Lebanese cinemas, notably at the Metropolis Empire Sofil in Achrafieh, Beirut. Actress and dancer Caroline Hatem, who stars in the film, is supporting the film’s distribution. Here, she talks about the film's premiere in Doha and cinema in the Arab world.
How did the film’s premiere go at the Tribeca Film Festival in Doha?
The premiere in Doha was surprising. There were many Jordanians who liked the film very much. In general, the reception in Doha was friendly, enjoyable… and luxurious! It was a real holiday for us.
However, several things can be drawn from this experience...
First of all, Arab fiction films still have some way to go, if you compare them to Iranian cinema, which is excellent, or French North African cinema, which snapped up all the awards in Doha: Best Film, Best Actor...
Arab film festivals have a lot of money to spend and are right to invest quite a lot of it in education and training. In fact, young directors are often not very well trained, disciplined, or curious… From Qatar to North Africa via Beyrouth, it’s the human and cultural level of film crews, not wealth, that will make for successful films.
In Arab films today, directors have yet to go beyond a taste for anecdotal story-telling. You don’t see the directors’ creative mark. They limit themselves to recreating an atmosphere, or even worse, a cliché. Arab documentary is faring better, I feel.
Read the French interview in full here.