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A Summer In La Goulette
A Summer In La Goulette
Director: Ferid Boughedir
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
NR     2008     1hr 40min

*Nominated, Golden Bear - 1996 Berlin International Film Festival — *Nominated, Golden Spike - 1996 Valladolid International Film Festival — Set in 1967, A Summer in La Goulette examines a time when Muslims, Jews and Catholi...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Ferid Boughedir
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, International
Studio: Typecast Releasing
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/22/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Arabic

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Movie Reviews

Slice of Life in a Religiously Diverse, Increasingly Middle
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 05/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""A Summer in La Goulette" was directed by Ferid Boughedir in 1996 to capture the heterogeneous character of Tunisia in 1967. It's set in La Goulette, the port north of Tunis where tourists flock in the summer, seeking beaches and sea breezes. Three young women, best friends -Muslim Meriem (Sonia Mankai), Jewish Gigi (Sarah Pariente), and Sicilian Catholic Tina (Ava Cohen-Jonathan)- vow to loose their virginity before the summer is out. Their families live in the same apartment building, owned by the greedy Hadj (Gamil Ratib) who has eyes for Meriem. Their fathers -Youssef (Mustapha Adouani), Jojo (Guy Nataf), and Guiseppe (Ivo Salerno), respectively- are old friends. But the ladies' scandalous plans and choice of boyfriends causes a rift between the men.

The film captures working class Tunisian life and the pleasures of the Mediterranean summer at a particular time: after colonialism and before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, after which most Tunisian Jews left the country. Tensions in the Middle East loom in the background, largely ignored by the population of La Goulette. The war begins just as the action of this film ends. And with it, a social era comes to an end. Ferid Boughedir captures Tunisian life during this period of liberalism and social change through the lens of a romantic comedy. "A Summer in La Goulette" is generally light-hearted and funny. But it brings to light the changing relationships between men and women, the hypocrisy of both the middle class and religious traditionalists, the perils of political ignorance, and the frivolity of it all. In French and Arabic with English subtitles."
A Lovely Film of Muslims, Jews & Christians Living in Peace
F. Orion Pozo | Raleigh, NC USA | 03/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an idyllic image of the possibility for Peace in the world. Filmed on location in La Goulette, Tunisia, a beach resort in northern Africa, the movie tells the simple story of a summer in 1967 just before the Arab - Israel War. There are three families of different religions living side-by-side in an apartment house. The men are close friends and so are their sixteen year old daughters. It looks like the local Tunisians played many of the minor roles, and the characters and situations breathe a life of peaceful coexistence in a place that all agree is Paradise on Earth. One family is planning the wedding of their older daughter. The bachelor elderly landlord is infatuated with one of the daughters. The three teens decide to lose their virginity before the summer is out and seduce three local boys of different religious backgrounds. Claudia Cardinale, a Tunisian-born actress, makes a cameo appearance. All in all, a lovely slice-of-life film which takes the viewer to a simpler time and place when there was hope for Peace and the biggest problems were romance."
Need to balance the negative review which has nothing to do
C. Perry | MI USA | 09/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I didn't view a dvd of this movie purchased at Amazon, I only rented it, so my review has nothing to do with the quality of the dvd, which in my case was fine.

The movie is a delightful story as well as an interesting look at Tunisia in 1967, before the mass exodus of Jews from the country (as well as from Morocco). A comedy, yes, but it doesn't shy away from a harsher message. The filmmaker simply decided comedy was more revealing than a drama."
Comedy, but with a purpose
Z. Freeman | Austin, TX | 09/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Set in the touristic beach resort town of La Goulette, Tunisia, A Summer in La Goulette is the sometimes-sweet-sometimes-crass coming of age story of three seventeen year old girls from very different religious backgrounds. Teen friends Meriem (Muslim), Tina (Jewish), and Gigi (Catholic), bored with their lives on the beach and curious about romance, make a pact that they will lose their virginity and "become women" by the end of summer.When their fathers, Youssef, Jojo, and Giuseppe, discover their plan, they are obviously outraged. But their anger stems not only from the idea of their precious daughters becoming sexually active, but from the fact that the boys that each of their daughters have chosen are from different religious backgrounds than they are.

Amidst the comedic teen angst and sexual desires, director Ferid Boughedir explores the devisive nature of religious beliefs and practices, even among long-time friends. In what is essentially a coming of age comedy it's surprising to see such difficult subject matter explored, and even more surprising to see it explored so effectively. As the fathers grow angry with their daughter's choices so do they grow angry with each other for discriminating against their kind.

Taking place right before the 2nd Arab-Israeli War of 1967, the idea of Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim neighbors living in peace in the same bulding, and even being childhood friends, is examined and shown in lovely slice-of-life moments. Though the war is never mentioned until the final scene, the choice of time and location couldn't be more apt. While "tensions in the Middle East" are constantly addressed and dismissed by characters in the film, little do they realize what events will soon play out on their very doorsteps.

A Summer in La Goulette is a rare dramatic comedy that works on many levels; the light comedic bits are played out for entertainment value while the heavier scenes are well-acted and intense. An interesting side story about a lecherous elder landlord known as the "Double Hadj" is a bit creepy and almost feels like a different story in itself, but other than that the film stays on course through its 100 minute running time. Beautifully shot, expertly constructed, and socially relevant, A Summer in La Goulette is a film for all creeds who belief peace and acceptance is possible.