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As I Open My Eyes(À peine j'ouvre les yeux)

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Tunisia, France, Belgium · 2015
1h 38m
Director Leyla Bouzid
Starring Baya Medhaffer, Ghalia Benali, Montassar Ayari, Aymen Omrani
Genre Drama

Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn't have the same idea. She sings in a political rock band, has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the wishes of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers all too well.

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Village Voice by

This debut feature earns its grown-up wisdom without selling out its youthful idealism.


Screen International by Dan Fainaru

Leyla Bouzid’s fiercely committed debut should draw plenty of attention not only for the way it deals with the political climate in her homeland but also for how she charts the painful transition of her lead character from outspoken, rebellious adolescence to a more careful and often resigned adulthood.

63 by Godfrey Cheshire

Curiously, there’s virtually no mention of religion in the film. For that matter, politics creep into the tale only obliquely, and later. It appears we’re meant to understand that the band’s music and Farah’s lyrics have an edge of protest, but this is registered only as a very general sort of frustration and discontent.


Variety by Jay Weissberg

Sharply yet subtly capturing the atmosphere of fear fostered by the dictatorship of President Ben Ali, this skillfully made drama is especially attuned to the myriad forms of surveillance, from the prurient to the political.


CineVue by Matthew Anderson

By using the tropes of the coming-of-ager - a rebellious teen and the strained relationship with her mother - as the central touchstone, Bouzid subtly, yet efficiently paints the nascent days of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution as a force to be reckoned with.


Los Angeles Times by Sheri Linden

Baya Medhaffar inhabits the role of Farah with a blazing exuberance that’s matched by a dynamic sense of place. Director Leyla Bouzid may struggle to shape her narrative in the final reels, but through most of its running time her first feature pulses with in-the-moment vitality.