Lebanese film ‘Dirty Difficult Dangerous’ screens at Venice International Film Festival


DUBAI: Lebanese French director Wissam Charaf’s film “Dirty Difficult Dangerous” screened on Wednesday at the 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival.

The film, set in Beirut, tells the story of two people in love — a Syrian refugee named Ahmed, played by actor Ziad Jallad, and Mehdia, played by actress Clara Couturet, an Ethiopian working as a housemaid for an elderly couple.

Mehdia tries to free herself from her employers and Ahmed struggles to survive by selling scrap metal, while affected by a mysterious disease.

Ziad Jallad plays a Syrian refugee named Ahmed. (giornatedegliautori.com)

The two lovers might not have a future together, but they also have nothing to lose. So, one day, they seize their chance and flee Beirut, in a desperate attempt to start over elsewhere, as Ahmed’s physical condition starts to gets worse.

Charaf, Couturet and Jallad all attended the photocall of the movie and posed for pictures together.

“Dirty Difficult Dangerous” is one of the five films funded by the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF).

Earlier this week, the RSIFF announced a collaboration with the Venice Film Festival’s Final Cut workshop, an initiative led by the Venice Production Bridge that has been supporting work-in-progress films from African and Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, since 2013.

Clara Couturet stars as an Ethiopian working as a housemaid for an elderly couple. (giornatedegliautori.com)

The four other films funded by RSIFF that will screen at Venice International Film Festival are “Nezouh” directed by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan; Iraqi director Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradj’s “Hanging Gardens;” French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri’s “The Last Queen;” and Moroccan director and writer Yasmine Benkiran’s “Queens.”

The world’s longest-running film festival, which runs until Sept. 10, will also showcase 10 Arab and Middle Eastern films.

And two films that received support from the RSIFF — “The Cemetery of Cinema,” a documentary directed by Thierno Souleymane Diallo, and the dark comedy “Inshallah A Boy,” by Amjad Al-Rasheed — are among eight that will be shown to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers. One film will receive a financial award.

The Venice International Film Festival is marking 90 years since its first edition, and saw celebrities including US politician Hillary Clinton walking the red carpet.

Opening film “White Noise” is the first of four Netflix-produced films competing for the top prize Golden Lion as the streamer seeks to bolster its artistic credentials.

It stars Adam Driver as a Hitler studies professor in a small college town, which experiences an “Airborne Toxic Event” that leaves the community desperate for reliable information – while his wife (played by Greta Gerwig) has her own struggles with prescription meds.