Dutch director Alex Pitstra’s debut, Die Welt, is the first in a series of films and documentaries exploring the complexities of what it is to be an European – old and new.
A hybrid between fiction and documentary, Die Welt is set in contemporary Tunisia, shortly after the Jasmine Revolution in 2011. Living in a society that is trapped in the vacuum between dictatorship and democracy, young salesman Abdallah becomes increasingly frustrated with his inability to create for himself the conditions for a fulfilling existence. After meeting Anna, a Dutch tourist, he begins to dream of a better life in Europe or Die Welt, as his father calls the promise land on the other side of the Mediterranean.
It’s a drama rife with moral dilemmas, not unlike the ones Pitstra posed himself while investigating his Tunisian roots in the making of this film. “To me Die Welt is an exploration of both myself and the person I could have been if my father had made different choices in life,” says the director. He worked with both professional and amateur actors, casting family members in supporting roles, including his father, his half-sister and his cousins from France.
In search for his Tunisian identity, he paints a mesmerizing picture of the current state of affairs in his father’s country, as perceived through Western eyes. It’s a tension that Pitstra articulated by blending two realities into one: “We see a country that is a lot more modern than what we see on the news on TV. On the other hand, the film presents Tunisian society in a way that Tunisians are not yet familiar with.”
19.45 – 20.00: Introduction
20.00 – 21.30: Screening
21.30 – 22.00: Q&A with director Alex Pitstra
LOCATION: Buurtcentrum De Witte Boei, Kleine Wittenburgerstraat 201, 1018LT Amsterdam
FREE ACCESS: Reservations required.
Please email hello[at]neweuropeans[dot]org with “Die Welt” in the title.