‘Dear Son’

Dear_SonA Tunisian domestic drama that evolves into a desperate search by elderly parents as their only child disappears from school days before his final exam.

A quiet, unassuming film that focuses on the everyday – the pressures at school, a father approaching retirement – until Sami disappears without warning to join ISIS in Syria.

Director Mohamed Ben Attia (Hedi) avoids action and melodrama in following Sami, instead electing to stay with the secular parents Mohamed Dhrif and Mouna Mejri as they come to terms with the impact of their son’s actions. It’s a (little too) slow, intimate yet dignified film, as much an exploration of family relationships as it is a pertinent narrative of jihadism and newspaper headline importance.

Rating: 53%

Screened as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival

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