Ghodwa is a 2021 film available on Netflix. This Middle Eastern film is directed and co-written by Dhaffer L’Abidine and Ahmed Amer. Dhaffer L’Abidine also acted as Habib, the protagonist of the movie. The film has a running time of 1 hour and 36 minutes.
The movie takes us through the story of Habib a 40-year-old lawyer and his son Ahmed (played by Ahmed Berhouma). Habib has a lot of traumas because of his suffering due to the old regime. He is frustrated and also scarred mentally because of his surroundings. The film shows a lot more than just its characters. it’s a film that holds a lot of emotions that may convey the feelings of the Tunisian people in general.
The relationship between Ahmed and Habib is the main center of the film. The film starts with Habib taking care of Ahmed like a dotting father but as the film progresses, we see a role reversal. With Habib’s deteriorating health Ahmed takes charge of him, without judging his frustrations or traumas. And this is the character development we see in them. Now, apart from this connection between the father and the son, there is much more that is focused on in the film.
The film talks a lot about revolution. The film shows the hope that was prevailing among the people. But the hope becomes invalid since everything remains unchanged. And this is what the protagonist is frustrated about. Poverty persists, police abuses remain and the hope which remained seems to be vanishing. All these elements in the film represent the daily life of Tunisian people.
The film has a slow pace. But this slow pace is very much needed and important for the type of story this film delivers. To understand the different stages of life the main character goes through, the trauma he experienced, and also most importantly, to understand the general life of the people because of the system, this film has to have a slow pace. The content in this film is definitely on the heavier side. Therefore, it cannot please all audiences. Only those who like such intimate and intense genre films will enjoy a movie like this.
It’s a tough film to digest, but if watched with the right mindset, this film will surely have a place in the viewer’s, heart. The film rightly points out the inability of the leaders of the country and also the bitterness inside the people when they realized that justice was never achieved. Overall, this film is a good watch with some amazing thoughts. Although it cannot be called an entertainer, it is worth a watch.
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