Tunisia has selected The Flower of Aleppo directed by Ridha Behi, as the country’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards. The film was officially selected by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture.
The Flower of Aleppo stars Tunisian actress Hend Sabry and marks her return to Tunisian cinema after a 14-year hiatus.
In the film, Hend plays the role of Salma, a mother whose teenage son goes missing under mysterious circumstances after the Tunisian Revolution.
As if enduring the harsh and oppressive life facing all Tunisian women wasn’t overwhelming enough, the shattering of Salma’s marriage into divorce weighs on her like the death of hope resurrected with the fall of the Arab Spring.
Forever giving and self-sacrificing, she’s struggling to hold on to what remains of her broken family in the only way she knows how, by burying herself in her work as a paramedic and escaping into other people’s tragedy and pain.
Mourad, Salma’s teenage son, has become all but consumed by feelings of helplessness, confusion, and abandonment as his family disintegrates. He so desperately needs to belong to someone. Or something. So much so, when the spawns of the dark force known as ISIS ensnare him into their jihadi brotherhood like some wild hoard of hungry beasts catching scent of a wounded prey, they only need lure him in with promises of eternal friendship and the power to change his crumbling world.
Now alone, Salma must summon all her strength and course she has left in order to save her son from a fate worse than death. She sets off on a hazardous journey into the very heart of darkness itself, ISIS’ stronghold in the war-ravaged inferno known as the Syrian city of Aleppo, where they’ve taken her beloved Mourad for indoctrination into their cult of psychopathic fundamentalism and training in their bloodthirsty methods of persuasion.