As I Open My Eyes

Synopsis: Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years-old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn't think the same way. She sings in a political rock band. She has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the will of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers too well.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Leyla Bouzid
Production: Kino Lorber
  6 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min



Shall we go?

What's up?

Nothing, I'm bored...

Shall we go?




Take care.

I'd better go...

Stay a bit longer.


Where were you?

I was going to the police!

What time is this? Why didn't you call?

Where were you?

Mom, I'm sorry...

Look, it wasn't my fault.

The car broke down.

The tire had to be changed.

Shut up.

I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow's your A-level results.

I swear I didn't mean to...

Didn't mean to? You could've called!

- No battery...

- You didn't reply!

Battery? You get a taxi home!

Who... What were you doing?

- Please, Mom...

- No! Leave me alone!

Why are you doing this to me?

Stop! I won't listen to you anymore!

I'm studying... architecture!

And you?

Cool! A banker and an architect!

I make the plans and you... pay up!

About me?

My hair?

Blonde... with green eyes.

Wake up!



I called for the results.

You passed with distinction!


Yes! Well done! Get up!

They'll all be here soon.

- First gig tomorrow...

- Will we get beer?

Yes, four on the house.

I'll have Farah's three!

This is her first beer!

A round of applause!


From now on it's for real.

Thanks for the gig.

I'll be singing!

What do you sing?

I don't sing.

I breathe,

I'm born,

I live!


During the day, I suffocate, I sob...


When night falls... at dusk,

I come here, I meet my friend

and I start to come down,

the noose loosens and my voice is freed,

from deep inside.

You know in another life, in another time,

I was a bird!

I used to sing.

I've been watching you for a while.

Only watching.

Not for... No!

Just watching.

- All right, Jghal?

- Yeah...

She sings too.

Get the lute.

Get the lute!


He's a good bloke, that guy.

Let's get the party going!

When I see this world of closed doors

In inebriation, I close my eyes

And every time a girl appears to me

Sometimes she seems to be the same

But then she is another

In my mind her image is moving

An eye in blossom and another wilting

Blue skies

Turn green in the light

Blacks, hazels, in anger,

shining, smiling

As I open my eyes,

I see those deprived

Of work, of food and a life

outside their neighborhood

Despised, aggrieved,

up to their eyes in problems

They breathe

through the soles of their feet

As I open my eyes,

I see those retreating to exile

Crossing the ocean's immensity

on a pilgrimage to death

With the country's troubles

people lose their minds

Looking for new troubles,

different from those they know

As I open my eyes,

I see people who are extinguished

Trapped in their sweat,

their tears are salty

Their blood has been stolen

and their dreams have faded

On their heads

Castles are being built

You are beautiful!

Have some roast meat. It's good.

You must miss home cooking.

Hayet cooks me meals each week.

You have to heat them up.

Why are you staying in Gafsa?

Ask for a transfer to Tunis

to be near your wife and daughter.

- I forgot the harissa!

- It's okay, I'll get it.

- This is delicious.

- Bon apptit.

Hayet, get him some bread.

He has bread, Mom.

Have some yourself then.

Mahmoud, your daughter needs you.

Studying medicine is very hard.


Is this why you had us come to Gabs?

You know what she wants to do.

Not with those marks.

You did what you wanted.

That's different!

And why is that?

Thank God, he sent you Mahmoud.

Still no request for a transfer?

My position hasn't changed.

And if you join the Party?

Everyone is joining.

I'm not everyone.

We were young and idealists.

We've grown up. That's enough.

Anyway, things are not good in Gafsa.

There's tension.

Do you want me back home?

Farah needs her dad.

I miss you too.

Was that your bed?

I hope I'll have your dreams.

I'll remind you of them.

Night, guys...

- What?

- Good night!

You're drunk. I'll come too.

Even if you pay me, I'm not going home.


I wish you a pleasant evening.

Have a good night.

Someone's there.

- No.

- I heard a noise.

It must be a cat.

- Come on.

- A cat!

Can I sleep at yours?

I have to go home.

My mom told the cleaning lady to watch me.

As promised, a present...

I wonder what it is...



- Before drinking you have to...

- Cheers!

You know that!


It's revolting.

- Share one?

- No.

To each her cigarette.

You got a lighter?

"The husband's fires,

embraced and blazing."

Bohrne, of course.

- Bohrne's the best.

- Go on. Tell me all.

If you only knew...

Did he touch you?


- Are you ashamed?

- Why?

Did he touch you all over?

Articulate. Have you lost your tongue?

His name's Khalouda.

Khalouda? Khaled.

- That's his nickname...

- A nickname, already? Wow.

I told him my name's Senda.

Why? Ahlem's a pretty name.

I'm not telling him my name's Ahlem.

Senda makes you think of

a blonde with green eyes.

Are you drunk?

Who is this?




Farah. Your mom's back.

You smell of beer. Get up.

You're back early. You okay?

I forgot something.

Are you all right?

How are Grandma Hamida and Dad?

Your grandma was moaning

because you weren't there.

Your dad misses you.

What are you doing today?

Rehearsing all day then I'll come home

and change for the gig.

Can you pick me up?

Can't I come tonight?

We already talked about that.

You wouldn't like it.

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Leyla Bouzid

Leyla Bouzid (born 1984 in Tunis), is a Tunisian screenwriter and film director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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