Director Meryam Joobeur is the driving force behind Brotherhood, a tragic and heartbreaking drama set in Tunisia.
A family in rural Tunisia is rocked by the return of eldest sibling Malek, who has been fighting in Syria for the last year. He brings a mysterious young wife with him, but father Mohamed is suspicious, and the intricacies of the family dynamic look set to bring tragedy to them all. Brotherhood has caused plenty of ripples through the short film industry, and it is no surprise that it has managed to win over 45 awards across the globe.
The director uses her own diverse background to present a tale of almost Shakespearean moral dilemmas, with brother Malek returning to the love of his mother and brothers while being held in contempt by his father.
Joobeur uses the landscape to great effect, with almost David Lynch-like shots of the wind blowing through the fields, and an empty chair, outdoors, viewed through a window in the house. The haunting imagery conveys the emptiness and despair of Mohamed, a father at odds with himself over how he must now regard his eldest son.
Beautifully shot and acted, the 25-minute feature shows incredible promise for this director. With another 3 features in development and a proposed full-length version of Brotherhood, it would seem that Joobeur has an incredible journey ahead of her.
Poignant, layered but never sentimental, this is an honest well-produced short that once again proves that films such as this can provide a snapshot of the greatness that may be just around the corner for many writers and directors. Look for this where you can.