30th FID Marseille | 2019
"These testimonies edited in an asynchronous way from the images persist into the silences and the songs of women..."


Première Mondiale / World Premiere 

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The integrity and relevance of Pourquoi la mer rit-elle ? rely on a form that, through its subtle, intuitive, non-systematic use of desynchronization between sound and image, is in harmony with the fragility of memory, embodies it’s the worn-out fabric, torn by time, by sixty years of uncertain resistance to forgetfulness. 

Hello Aude, many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?

Very well, many thanks to TNC for the interest you show to the movie.

Are you looking forward to be bringing Why does the sea laugh? FID 2019?

Of course, I am impatient to be at the first public screening and very happy of this selection.

Why does the sea laugh? is in the First Film Competition and is also your World Premiere does this add any extra pressure on you?

A first public screening is always a special moment, a mix of tension and happiness, the fact that it happens at the FID and in Marseille makes this moment even more important for the movie. 

What has the experience been like making your first film?

This is not my first movie, but it is my first full feature film. I worked more than 4 years to collect anonymous testimonies on the Algerian independence revolution. Then, in 2017, I spent 2 months and a half in Tunisia and Algeria. From the anonymous stories that I gathered, I was patiently building a collective narrative. This has been a fascinating task which also allowed me to understand very personal things about my family. It was as if each and every person I met was part of a large canvas. 

Is there anything you know you won’t do next on your next film?

This movie rather gave me ways of doing that I will definitely use again in the next ones. Until now, I had always directed my short films entirely by myself, except for the sound editing and mixing always done by my brother, Thomas Fourel.  On Why does the sea laugh?, I took another look at the editing with Eric Pellet, I discussed the working practices with different professionals, I have listened a lot, I have done and re-done, until I found the format I was the most satisfied with. This continuous confrontation has really enriched me.

Will you have any nerves ahead of your screening?

It's inevitable… but I am mostly excited and eager to live at that moment. 

"between films and digital content, between black and white and colour, and between songs, silences and testimonies.​"

Can you tell me a little bit about Why does the sea laugh? what can we expect?

Among the most important testimonies collected during these 4 years of work, there was my meeting with Mrs Dahbia Bakha who lives nearby Saint-Etienne (France). During one of my visits to her, she mentioned a record made by Italians in Algeria: a record of revolutionary songs. In 2014, I started to look for that record: Canti della Rivoluzione Algerina from the Turinese band Cantacronache. Then, when I went myself to Tunisia and Algeria, each time I met women, they would always end our chats singing a resistance song. 

I started with the story of that record and 55 years after, I ended up recording revolutionary songs myself during my trip. When I came back from the shooting, Mrs Bakha, who sings and write poems, offered me 2 audio tapes. The voices of these women stood up as evidence, and I decided to build my movie around them.

Why does the sea laugh? tells the story of anonymous engagements during the Algerian revolution that echoes between Italy, France, Tunisia and Algeria. These testimonies edited in an asynchronous way from the images persist into the silences and the songs of women...

What was the inspiration behind this film?

I was willing for a long time to make a movie about the silent resistances of the Mediterranean sea, it is a wonderful topic, there is so much to tell… Why does the sea laugh? is the title of a song from Cheikh Imam (1918-1995), an Egyptian singer, which tells all the sufferings of the sea and why, in fact, it does not laugh. 

What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?

It was to find the right balance for the final form of the movie: between films and digital content, between black and white and colour, and between songs, silences and testimonies.

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

I come from plastic arts, I have always been fascinated by the image-movement in all its facets.

How important is the collaborative nature in filmmaking for you?

This was very important for me in this movie: the outside views and the collaborations led me to the specific and demanding form I was looking for.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve taken after making Why does the sea laugh??

I have learned a lot from the stories and the humility of the persons that I have met with whom I shared a discussion, a song, a meal and who welcomed me for a few nights.

Now that you have your first film completed do you have any advice for any emerging filmmaker?

I have worked for many years in independent artistic creation and I recently started to teach at the university, I don't know which advice to give apart from patience and dedication.

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?

I hope the audience will dive into it and that the people will carry these stories with them along with some of the faces and voices of these women.

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