“Rebel”, the event film of the new school year, signed by Belgian-Moroccan directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, released on August 31.
They are used to super productions (Bad Boys For Lifeseries Ms Marvel and the recently canceled Batgirl), Adil and Bilall, as they like to be called, manage to mix in this flagship film of the season, the spectacular and the‘intimate for a successful product that is both violent and touching. A work that subtly combines the magic of fiction with the power of documentary, dealing with the theme of radicalization. The cast is carried by Loubna Azabal (Leila), Aboubakr Bensaihi (Kamal), Amir El Arbi (Nassim), and Tara Aboud (Noor).
The story parallels the thwarted fate of two brothers. Kamal, a young rapper who decides to go to Syria to help the victims of the war. That’s what he believed. He finds himself recruited by the Islamic State, stranded in Raqqa and enlisted to become a propaganda tool. He is forced to shoot music videos glorifying Deach. nassim, A 13-year-old teenager who stayed in Molenbeek, Belgium, becomes easy prey for the terrorist group’s recruiters. Leïla, their mother, desperately tries to protect her youngest son. The viewer is then plunged into the disarray of this disjointed family and hell, rubbing shoulders with the terrorists. This terrifying universe of Deach.
“Each event is based on a true story”
With this film, Belgian filmmakers of Moroccan origin Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah tackled a topical and major subject, Islamic terrorism. And, to the city where they put their cameras; Molenbeek.
Shot between Belgium, Luxembourg and Jordan for almost five months, from April to August 2021, the film is crossed by a triple dimension; part war story, part family drama, part musical comedy. To console himself, Kamal tries to put his misfortunes to music, to rap his despair.
For the little story, rebel had passed discreetly at Cannes 2022, for having been screened in a midnight session, out of competition. Result, the opus is “unjustly passed unnoticed”, regret the directors and co-writers.
The film is all the more powerful because “each character and each event is based on a true story”, according to the filmmakers who have taken almost ten years to build their work step by step, closely following current events. The critics are unanimously favorable to them, to see absolutely!