The RIDM is proud to announce the opening and closing films of its 26th edition, which will take place from November 15 to 26, 2023. Echoing this year’s Focus Bidayyat, which trains its lens on the Middle East, the programming team chose to open this year’s festival with Bye Bye Tiberias by French-Palestinian-Algerian director Lina Soualem. The film, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival before being selected at TIFF, is a poignant exploration of exile, while celebrating the resilience of family ties. The filmmaker follows her mother – actress and director Hiam Abbass (Inheritance, Lemon Tree, Succession) – as she paints an intergenerational portrait of the women in her family.
To bring the festival to a close, the team selected November, an invitation to wander the streets of Montreal and come to terms with this dreaded month of the year. The human warmth of the conversations captured by documentary duo Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier and Karine van Ameringen will make all those who flock to Cinéma du Musée forget about the cold and embrace the melancholy evening – a hallmark of late autumn and the days leading to the festival’s conclusion.
Opening Film – Bye Bye Tiberias
Lina Soualem's intimate second feature, Bye Bye Tiberias, moves seamlessly through archives, poems and voice-over to build an inspiring new narrative for the Palestinian side of her family. By shedding light on the lives of four generations of women, Lina puts into perspective the story of her own mother, actress Hiam Abbass, who left her native village Deir Hanna close to Lake Tiberias at a young age in pursuit of her dreams. The film sensitively emphasizes the importance of lineage, while exploring the intergenerational relationships in the context of exile and displacement. A picture of resilient women shines through, where the individualized stories of loss and historical transmission become the lens through which the collective memory of an entire people is discerned.
Bye Bye Tiberias will have its Quebec premiere with director Lina Soualem in attendance on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 p.m. at Cinéma Impérial. A second screening of the film, also open to the public, will take place during the festival. Tickets for the opening night are available here.
Filmmakers Karine van Ameringen and Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier collaborate again to deliver a sensitive, poetic film. Across a series of encounters, the filmmakers capture life stories and reflections, carving out a unique geographic and human journey through a Montreal that seems weightless. The black and white film evokes the subtle play of light and the city’s bleak, autumnal greys. Bathed in an ethereal sound design, November is a gentle evocation of the gloom and melancholy of the season—and, perhaps more broadly, of our time.
November will have its North American premiere at Cinéma du Musée when it closes the festival on Saturday, November 25 with filmmakers Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier and Karine van Ameringen in attendance (by invitation only). A second screening of the film, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for Sunday, November 26.