Institute of African American Affairs
Department of Cinema Studies
“Women Filmmakers in the African Diasporic World”
Series of films by African and African diaspora women
exploring new approaches to film, gender and society.
Nadia El Fani
Neither Allah, Nor Master!
Directed by Nadia El Fani (71 min. / 2011)
Date: Monday, November 2, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Silver Center, Jurow Lecture Hall,
1st floor, Rm 101A, 100 Washington Square East, NY, NY 10012
Discussion with director Nadia El Fani
Click Here for Program PDF
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Nadia El Fani is a Franco-Tunisian filmmaker. She makes documentary and fiction films that can be described as activists. After being assistant director in particular with Roman Polanski, Nouri Bouzid, Romain Goupil, Franco Zeffirelli, El Fani directed her first short film "POUR LE PLAISIR" in 1990 and founded her own production company Z'YEUX NOIRS MOVIES in Tunisia. Being very close to groups of women activists she made in 1993 her first documentary "MAGHREB WOMEN LEADER" then "TANITEZ MOI." She moved to Paris in 2002 for the postproduction of her first feature fiction film "BEDWIN HACKER." In 2011 her documentary "LAÏCITÉ, INCH'ALLAH!" ("NEITHER ALLAH NOR MASTER!"), made in Tunisia before and after the revolution, earned her death threats from Islamic extremists and six criminal complaints, one for sacred infringements. She risked five years jail. In 2012 she released "NOT EVEN HURT," Grand Prize 2013 FESPACO, a film made with Alina Isabel Pérez, a cinematic answer to the campaign of hatred she had suffered. Then in 2013 she signed with Caroline Fourest “NOS SEINS, NOS ARMES!,” a documentary made during the first six months of installation of the movement Femen in Paris.
ABOUT THE FILM
An avowed atheist, Tunisian-Franco filmmaker Nadia El Fani takes a personal approach to this cinematic exploration of secularism in the Muslim country of Tunisia before and after the deposition of dictator Ben Ali. Made at the height of the 2010-2011 revolutions in North Africa, Neither Allah, Nor Master! has proven it made the director of the target of extremist death threats.
Officially, Tunisia is not an Islamic nation. But over and over, El Fani meets Tunisians who mistakenly believe that it is illegal to serve alcohol to Arabs, break the fast during Ramadan, or practice a religion other than Islam. In these encounters, she sees troubling signs that Tunisia may be becoming less tolerant of non-Islamic beliefs.
El Fani is casual and outspoken; she introduces viewers to Tunisians, including many women, in their own spaces - sprawled across a living room couch, gathered together on the steps of a building, enjoying a cup of coffee in the garden - and discover just how much they have to lose. Neither Allah, Nor Master! documents Tunisians resisting religious idealogy and fighting for a secular state in their everyday lives.