“Rebel,” from Belgian directors Adil & Bilall, follows the story of a young Muslim boy called Nassim who longs to be reunited with his elder brother Kamal, who goes to Syria to help victims of the war before being forced to join a militia. Radical recruiters spot Nassim as an easy target, promising they can reunite him with Kamal. Only the boys’ mother, Leila, has a hope of saving Nassim.
“This is a very personal story for us,” Adil & Bilall said. “It happened to people we know, friends and family. Under other circumstances we could have been one of these characters. We want to tell the story of this Jihad. Jihad has multiple meanings. It is the struggle; the internal struggle we feel within ourselves, the fight to spread love and righteousness, but it is also the Holy War, used in a perverted way to justify barbaric acts. In other words, there is no simple definition, only complexity and multifaceted perspectives”
“Those perspectives are translated by this family. Leila, Kamal, Nassim, they are one family, one religion, but they experience everything in a totally different way. Many times, extremism and terrorism has been portrayed on film in a very simplistic way. Those portrayals ignore the nuance of Islam, Muslim and Arab culture: its history, its art, its poetry and its music. We wanted to tell this story using all of it. It is an Arabian Nights story of a kid, struggling, looking for his place in this Western world, looking for which path to follow.”
Wild Bunch International are repping worldwide sales while CAA Media Finance are repping the U.S.
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